Union Minister for Finance and company Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman has set a September 15 deadline for its IT vendor Infosys to repair all the glitches plaguing “the current functionalities” of the new tax filing portal after conveying the government’s “deep disappointment” with the firm’s services to its CEO Salil Parekh.
Mr. Parekh was invited by the Minister on Monday to explain why, more than two and a half months after its introduction, the IT site had not yet stabilised and defects had not been corrected. The ‘summon’ occurred after the portal became unreachable over the weekend, only days after Ms. Sitharaman predicted it would be fully functional in two to three days.
“The Finance Minister demanded that the team overcome taxpayer difficulties with present portal functionalities by September 15, 2021, so that taxpayers and professionals may work effortlessly on the portal,” says the statement. according to a statement released after the meeting. Ms. Sitharaman also demanded an explanation from Infosys.
Ms. Sitharaman has urged Mr. Parekh to devote more resources and effort to the portal so that it can deliver “the much-delayed delivery of agreed services” and conveyed “the deep disappointment and concerns of the Government and taxpayers about the ongoing glitches in the Income Tax e-filing portal.”
According to a statement from the Finance Ministry, the Infosys CEO, who was “sensitised to the challenges” taxpayers were having and the ramifications of delays in the portal’s functioning, stressed that “he and his team are doing everything to ensure the seamless operating of the portal.”
The new deadline of September 15, proposed after the Minister met with Mr. Parekh, means that taxpayers will be inconvenienced for nearly another month, and even then, the full functionality of the portal, which the Finance Ministry promised would ensure “immediate processing of tax returns and quick refunds,” will remain a piece ongoing .
A mobile app, as well as other features, were to be published after the portal’s first launch. “Familiarization with the new system may take some time,” the IT department warned ahead of the portal’s June launch, adding that “the Department requests the patience of all taxpayers and stakeholders for the initial period after the launch of the new portal and while other functionalities are released, since this is often a serious transition.”
The Finance Ministry had previously allowed a few forms to be completed manually instead of online, citing problems with electronic submission of IT returns cited by taxpayers.
Mr Parekh told Ms. Sitharaman that the IT project has over 750 team members working on it, with Infosys CEO Pravin Rao personally overseeing it. Mr. Parekh further emphasised that Infosys is working quickly to ensure that taxpayers have a smooth experience on the portal, according to the Ministry.