Even though Indian IT giant Infosys has refuted the claims of the government being unhappy with its work on the GST website, numerous firms have spoken about their issues while filing the much-talked-about Goods and Services Tax. Now, traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said that the issues are serious and they will have to take "shelter of the court of law" if no action is taken against the Bengaluru-based firm.
CAIT said that the GST website has caused mental agony to the taxpayers but nothing is being done to solve the issues. Discussing the matter, CAIT noted that "it has failed to understand why no action is being taken against Infosys and other companies who have taken the contract of GST portal at a huge cost of about Rs 1,400 crore," reported the Press Trust of India.
Infosys had won the deal to develop and operate the GST website for about Rs 1,380 crore in 2015.
The CAIT also said that Infosys has been coming up with "lame excuses" and also has a standard reply that the portal has been functioning efficiently. "...if no immediate action is taken against Infosys, it will have no other alternative left but to take shelter of the Court of Law to intervene in the matter and while identifying the culprits award them suitable punishment for non performance and wastage of public money. No one will be allowed to run away with public money," it added.
Just a few days ago it was reported that three government officials were not happy with the website and the frequent issues that taxpayers were facing. These issues even forced the government to extend the deadline numerous times. "It has been a disappointing experience," the Economic Times quoted an official as saying.
"While the long-term problem we face is inculcating a culture of tax compliance, the short-term problem is on account of Infosys," another official had added. Infosys was also accused of not taking these issues seriously and officials were said to be unhappy with the firm's slow response to these issues and hoped that the company will now work faster when it comes to bettering the website and providing a solution to these glitches. They (Infosys) should have been more responsive," an official noted.
Firms and traders logging in to the website to pay GST have also said that the system is extremely slow and even crashes several times. "This has led to restlessness among the businessmen... A small businessman can't spend so much time on filing of returns," said a trader.
However, the Bengaluru-based IT giant had refuted these claims and said that there was no truth to reports of government officials being unhappy. "The information you have received is completely inaccurate," the company said.
The IT giant did agree that the website has been facing some issues and glitches and said that they will be fixed at the earliest. "Given the complex nature of the project and rapid change management, there have been several stakeholder concerns that have also been raised," Infosys told ET. "Some of our finest engineers are supporting the GSTN team as they work towards resolving these and serving all stakeholders."
It also explained that the firm was very happy and proud to be working on the GST network and will continue to work on improving the operations.