Over 750 Working On Tax Portal: Chided, Infosys CEO Assures Government

The Infosys CEO has to explain to the Finance Minister "why even after 2.5 months since the launch of new e-filing portal, glitches in the portal have not been resolved", said the tweet.

Over 750 Working On Tax Portal: Chided, Infosys CEO Assures Government

This is the second such government-Infosys project that has run into trouble.

Highlights

  • Summons announced as portal remained shut for two days citing maintenance
  • The online tax portal was launched by the company in June
  • This is second such government-Infosys project that has run into trouble
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a meeting with Infosys CEO Salil Parekh today, expressed "deep disappointment" over persistent glitches in the new Income Tax portal set up by the company and gave him till September 15 to resolve all issues.

Here are 10 developments in this big story:

  1. Summoned to explain the problems with the portal, Infosys CEO Salil Parekh met with the Finance Minister and senior officials for more than an hour to brief them about the steps initiated to address the glitches.

  2. The "summons" was announced after the portal was shut for two days in a row. The Finance Minister underlined the concerns of the government and taxpayers about continuing glitches even two and half months after the site's launch - which, the minister pointed out, was also delayed. Ms Sitharaman asked for an explanation from Infosys for the "repeated issues" faced by taxpayers.

  3. The government stressed that Infosys needed to invest more resources and efforts to cut the delay in delivery of agreed services. "Mr Parekh was also sensitized on the difficulties that taxpayers are facing and the problems that are arising on account of the delays in the functioning of the portal," an official statement said. Mr Parekh told the government that over 750 team members are working on the project and COO Pravin Rao "is personally overseeing this project".

  4. On Saturday, the company said the portal was "currently inaccessible due to planned maintenance". Yesterday, it cited "emergency maintenance" until around 9 pm, when it announced that the portal was up and running.

  5. A day after the launch of the portal in June, the Finance Minister had tweeted to Infosys and its co-founder Nandan Nilekani asking for grievances and glitches to be resolved and asserting: "Hope Infosys and Nandan Nilekani will not let down our taxpayers in the quality of service being provided." Mr Nilekani had replied on June 9 that Infosys expected the portal to stabilise "during the week", and was working to resolve the glitches.

  6. But as users kept complaining of problems with the portal, Ms Sitharaman called a meeting with key Infosys officials on June 22 and asked the company to address all issues without further loss of time, improve services and redress grievances on priority as it was impacting taxpayers adversely.

  7. Salil Parekh and other company officials at the meeting "acknowledged the technical issues in the functioning of the portal", an official statement said.

  8. Last week, Ms Sitharaman said she had been "constantly reminding" Infosys of continuing technical glitches in the e-filing portal. "I have been reminding Infosys constantly, and (Infosys head) Nandan Nilekani has been messaging me with assurances that next couple of days they will sort out majority of problems," she had said.

  9. Infosys won a contract in 2019 to develop the next-generation tax filing system to reduce processing time for returns from 63 days to one day and expedite refunds. Till June this year, the government has paid Rs 164.5 crore to Infosys for the portal.

  10. This is the second such government-Infosys project that has run into trouble. Infosys had also developed the GST Network (GSTN) portal to facilitate the payment of GST (Goods and Services Tax). The software major was criticized over the GSTN portal's speed.



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