Expressing satisfaction on the progress made by technology vendor Infosys in resolving various issues of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Saturday said they would be introducing newer features to make the entire system more user-friendly. The five-member GoM headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was constituted to resolve the various technology issues of GSTN. Infosys had won the Rs 1,380-crore contract in September 2015 to implement the GSTN system and maintain it for five years. Addressing mediapersons on Saturday following its fourth meeting with Infosys, Modi said as part of a review meeting, they had decided to introduce editing facility in the filing of the GSTR 3B summary filing. This is expected to be operationalised in the next three-four days. The lack of editing facility has affected about two lakh tax payers, who were not able to file their summary returns.
Modi said the GSTN will also introduce new types of management information systems (MIS), which will enable the tax officials to analyse the data. “Features such as editing, preview, downloading and print will be introduced so as to make it more user-friendly,” he added. However, this time the Bihar deputy chief minister did not provide any timeline for Infosys to resolve the various issues, unlike in the past, saying it was an ongoing process. “Infosys is doing good work. We are satisfied,” Modi said. Infosys has now deployed over 600 IT professionals for the GSTN project and it has also placed deputy resident engineers in each of the 29 states to enable a more direct interaction. Modi said it was a massive exercise implementing the GSTN, given the inherent complexities, adding that the number of complaints have decreased.
The GoM also held a meeting with Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani later in the day to discuss the various issues of GSTN. On the revenue receipts from the goods and services tax (GST), the month of October witnessed a collection of Rs 95,131 crore as compared to Rs 93,141 crore in September, according to Modi. The average revenue shortfall of all states was down to 17.6% in October as compared to 28.4% in August. The revenue shortfall in August 2017 was Rs 12,208 crore, as compared to Rs 7,560 crore in October. “This is a good and encouraging trend,” he said. As per Modi, 17 states saw the maximum revenue shortfall, while nine states had the least shortfall. He added that Delhi has almost reached break-even point.
Doling out the statistics, Modi said the combined tax revenue of both states and the Centre for FY17 stood at Rs 8.8 lakh crore and the current collection in the range of over Rs 90,000 crore should help meet the 14% growth rate in collections. On the revision of rates, which is effective from this month, Modi said the reduced taxes would mean a saving of Rs 24,000 crore and this benefit should be passed on to the people.