Tribune press service
New Delhi, August 22
As the income tax portal darkens on Saturday, the finance ministry summoned Infosys CEO Salil Parekh on Monday to explain to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman why even after two and a half months since its launch , the issues with the new portal have not been resolved, an official press release said.
The new electronic income tax declaration portal “www. Incometax.gov.in ”, developed by Infosys, got off to a rough start from the day of its launch on June 7, as it continued to face technical issues with users complaining that certain features were either unavailable or working. slowly.
As a result, IT had to allow manual filing of remittance forms and also lengthen the due dates for electronic filing of information-related forms by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds.
The Ministry of Finance summoned Sh Salil Parekh, Managing Director and CEO @Infosys on 08/23/2021 to explain to the Honorable FM why even after 2.5 months since the launch of the new e-filing portal, the problems in the portal has not been solved. In fact, as of 8/21/2021, the portal itself is not available, “tweeted the Income Tax Service.
As users complained about various issues after a fortnight of launch, Sitharaman met with key Infosys officials on June 22, during which accountants, who had also been invited, highlighted the problems faced by taxpayers and tax specialists on the portal.
The minister then asked Infosys to deal with all issues without further loss of time, improve their services and resolve grievances as a priority, as this had a negative impact on taxpayers.
“I wish it hadn’t happened like that,” she recently said. The minister also received comments each week from the founder of Infosys, Nandan Nilekani.
The inability of many to file income tax returns led them to impose late fees on some of them, which the government attributed to another problem and promised to fund. It also affected the pace of repayments.
Until August 26 of last year, CBDT had issued refunds of over Rs 95,000 crore. This year, until August 16, repayments of around Rs 50,000 were made, almost half of the penalties imposed last year, because people were unable to file their declarations due to defects in the gate.
The Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) website is also facing problems. Several users complained about the long hours spent trying to close deals, especially getting Aadhaar verified for the electronic nomination.
In 2019, Infosys won a contract to develop the next-generation tax filing system to reduce filing processing time from 63 days to one day and speed up refunds. Until June 2021, the government paid Rs 164.5 crore to Infosys for the development of the portal.
Infosys India Business, which is the Twitter account for the Infosys India business unit, said in a tweet on Sunday: “The @IncomeTaxIndia portal continues to be under emergency maintenance. We will post an update once the portal is again available to taxpayers. We regret the inconvenience caused ”.
He tweeted on Saturday that the income tax portal was “currently inaccessible due to scheduled maintenance.”
Quoting the tweet from the IT department, senior advisor to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Kanchan Gupta tweeted “This is the second big GoI project that @Infosys messed up. The first was the #TPS portal. It is now the # Income Tax portal. Infosys bags GoI projects using the L1 route which limits options Clearly lacking capacity or intention to deliver. Two consecutive “failures” cannot be a coincidence ”.
Infosys had also developed the GST Network (GSTN) portal, used for paying GST and filing returns. The software major had faced criticism for the slow functioning of the GSTN portal.
Sitharaman had said last week that the technical issues with the new e-filing portal would largely be fixed in the coming days and that she was constantly reminding Infosys of the problem.
“I have constantly called Infosys back, and (Infosys chief) Nandan Nilekani sent me a message with the assurance that in the next few days they will solve the majority of the problems,” she said, adding that in to a large extent the system is far better than it was in June, but some problems persist.
The revenue secretary is monitoring this weekly, she said, adding that the problems would largely be corrected over the next two weeks.
Earlier this month, in a response to a question from Parliament on whether technical issues continued to disrupt the operation of the new IT portal, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said most of issues reported by taxpayers were related to unavailability or technical issues. of certain features or forms.
“Some key functionalities such as user profile, dashboard, filing of ITR 1,2 and 4, electronic procedures including video conference requests, digital signature certificate, viewing old tax returns, electronic verification, e-PAN service, Aadhaar-PAN Liaison, addition of an authorized representative, etc. are available to users, ”he said in a written response to Lok Sabha. – With PTI