It was hailed as India’s greatest indirect tax reform and the Indian government even hosted a special midnight session in parliament to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
However four months down the line, disillusionment has set in not just among traders and businessmen due to compliance hassles but even among government officials.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia recently called for a complete overhaul of the tax rates to reduce the burden on small and medium businesses. This is despite the fact that the GST Council — the highest decision-making body of the new tax regime — had carried several rounds of changes to make the indirect taxation law business friendly.
Now some Indian government officials are even pointing a finger at Infosys, the software behemoth that was entrusted to provide the technology backbone to run GST’s back-end operations, reports Economic Times. India’s second largest software services provider had bagged a Rs 13.8 billion (US$202 million) deal in 2015 to maintain the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal.
The daily quoted three top government functionaries who had expressed strong disappointment with the company over frequent glitches that have beset the GSTN leading to several postponements of deadlines for returns.
The government had on October 30 deferred filing of GSTR-2 for July to November 30 from October 31 and GSTR-3 for July to December 11 from November 10. GSTR-2 for July was to be originally filed in August.
What has irked some sections in the government is the time taken for the company to respond or come up with solutions to problems.
In its response, Infosys rejected the contention that its work had been regarded as unsatisfactory. “The information you have received is completely inaccurate,” the company told the daily.
Meanwhile, a survey by a market research agency released on Wednesday revealed that Indian factory activity barely expanded in October as new orders fell, price rise following the introduction of GST dragged on the economy and underscored dim growth prospects over the coming months.
The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS Markit, fell to 50.3 last month from September’s 51.2, marking its third month above the 50-point threshold that separates growth from contraction, reports Reuters.