CAIT for fixing onus on GSTN portal failure

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 19 Sep 2017 09:25:35


Business Bureau,

Although, Group of Ministers (GoM) were entrusted upon to look into technical problems of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal which assured to streamline the system by next month, the national-level body of traders on Monday demanded legal action against the Indian software giant - Infosys - which is managing the portal on behalf of the Government.

On the first day of the National Governing Council of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) being held in Surat, the traders’ body said that the incompetent portal has caused an irreparable loss to the traders and Government at the initial stage. “Infosys is responsible for all the technical glitches that are giving sleepless nights to the taxpayers and also creating a negative impact of the new tax system. Government should conduct a ‘third party audit’ of the entire system and fix responsibility on the company,” demanded B C Bhartia, National President
of CAIT.

Taking into account the frequent failure of the portal, Bhartia also raised a serious question mark over the reliability of the new tax regime. “There are provisions in the Goods and Services Tax to penalise taxpayers for failing to file returns within the stipulated time. However, as the delay is due to company’s failure, the Government should initiate legal action against it,” he said.

“As lakhs of traders in the country are facing hardship due to the inefficient portal, it becomes paramount to fix the responsibility on those who are managing the affairs,” Praveen Khandelwal, National General Secretary of CAIT pointed out.
While elaborating on the hurdles that are posing difficulties in the tax compliance, traders from about 21 states attending the event in Surat on Monday said the Government should take immediate action to restore normalcy. “Confusion is prevailing among traders and service providers all over the country which is also creating unfavourable atmosphere for GST. Any delay in initiating corrective steps will jeopardise the Government’s ambitious plan to make GST a big success,” traders said. Besides, they also demanded representation of traders in the Sushil Kumar Modi - led Group of Ministers which is examining the technical problems faced by GSTN portal.

Recently, Sushil Kumar Modi has said that GST was a new system for the country and thus its implementation was bound to come across some technical problems in early stages. “But efforts are going on to resolve all the issues and we are expecting the dust to settle down in next 45 days,” he had said.

On the other hand, traders are bearing the burnt of the technical issues, their businesses are also suffering because of the frequent failure of the GSTN portal. It is important to note that CAIT, the only apex body of trading community with more than 40,000 members across the country, has strongly supported the Goods and Services Tax (GST).