Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday asked Infosys CEO Salil Parekh to resolve glitches in the new income tax filing portal by September 15. The government's tough stance is fuelled by the faulty functioning of the portal even after over two months of its launch. Sitharaman had summoned Infosys MD and CEO Parekh at her office to know the reasons for not resolving the snags in the portal.
According to a statement issued by the Income Tax Department, the finance minister emphasised in the meeting that there is a need for putting in more resources and efforts on the part of Infosys so that the much-delated delivery of agreed services is ensured.
"Hon'ble Finance Minister demanded that the issues faced by taxpayers on current functionalities of the portal should be resolved by the team by 15th September 2021 so that taxpayers and professionals can work seamlessly on the portal," the I-T department said in a statement after the meeting.
Sitharaman conveyed "the deep disappointment and concerns of the government and the taxpayers" about the continuing glitches in the e-filing porta, and sought an explanation from Infosys for the repeated issues faced by taxpayers.
During the meeting, Parekh was also sensitised on the difficulties that the taxpayers were facing and the problems that are arising on account of the delays in the functioning of the portal.
"Parekh explained that he and his team are doing everything to ensure the smooth functioning of the portal. Further, he said, over 750 team members are working on this project and Pravin Rao, COO of Infosys, is personally overseeing this project. He also assured that Infosys is working expeditiously to ensure a glitch-free experience to the taxpayers on the portal," the statement added.
What is the matter?
The portal, which went live on June 7, was not accessible on August 21 and 22 till late evening. It came back after what the tech major described was an "emergency maintenance".
This is the second time that Sitharaman has met the Infosys team over the issue. She had on June 22 met Parekh and Rao.
Infosys was awarded the Rs 4,242 crore contract in 2019 to develop the new portal. The project was aimed at developing the next-generation income tax filing system to reduce processing time for returns from 63 days to one day and also expedite refunds. Between January 2019 to June 2021, the government has paid Rs 164.5 crore to Infosys for developing the portal.
The new income tax e-filing portal 'www.incometax.gov.in', however, faced tech glitches from day one with users complaining that certain functionalities were either unavailable or working slow.
Consequently, the I-T department had to allow the manual filing of remittance forms and also extend due dates for electronic filing of forms related to intimation by pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. (With PTI inputs)