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The five-member GoM formed to look into the IT-related implementation of GST has flagged the issues being faced by GST taxpayers and expects to resolve about 70-80 per cent of the glitches related to the GST Network (GSTN) by October 30, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said after chairing the first meeting of the GoM in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia absolved Infosys, the vendor for GSTN, of any blame for the numerous GSTN-related glitches, saying that they are delivering “very well”. “I don’t think they (Infosys as a vendor of GSTN) have failed. We can’t conclude like that…they are delivering very well. Only thing is that there are initial hiccups and issues which we have to sort out with them. It’s not like there have been mass scale failures by them. Not at all,” Adhia told reporters after the GoM meeting.
“Infosys has assured us that they will take care of all the things,” Modi said.
Modi, who heads the ministerial group, said that even though trials for the IT system were done, but “when you take the bull by the horn, then you face the issues”. “We flagged the issues and we have identified the issues. Most of the issues are common throughout the country…we have identified the problems. GSTN and
Infosys have given us updates and a timeframe by which date, which thing will be implemented, which thing can be improved and I think by October 30, we will be able to solve 70-80 per cent of the problems,” Modi said.
He also appealed to the taxpayers to file their GST returns at the earliest, citing the wide gap in the number of returns filed for the month of July and the ones filed for August so far. “About 47 lakh dealers filed their July GSTR-3B, a short summary return…for August, till now only 3.05 lakh have filed their GSTR-3B return. I want to appeal to all taxpayers that they should not wait for the last day. There is a general tendency that people file their returns on the last day and because of that there is a heavy rush on the system,” he said, adding that tax departments were also sending messages to taxpayers to file their returns on time.
About 22 crore invoices have been filed in last 2-2.5 months, he said. The total number of registrants under GST is 85 lakh, which includes about 23.18 lakh new taxpayers and 62.25 lakh taxpayers who have migrated from the earlier VAT, excise and service tax regime. About 11 lakh dealers have registered under the composition scheme, Modi said.
Modi said discussions involving more than 80 officials of state governments, tax consultants, tax experts and big companies were held on Friday. “More than 80 officials of different state governments, the whole day they discussed with GSTN and Infosys regarding the glitches and problems they are facing in filing the returns, in payments and other things. GSTN and Infosys also had a long meeting with the tax consultants and experts, who are handling more than 1,000-1,500 dealers at a time,” he said.
The GoM meeting will now be held every 15 days, he said. “In first week of October, we’ll finalise the date and most probably in Bengaluru as Infosys is here itself,” he said.
In the next meeting, they will discuss the decisions taken in Saturday’s meeting, the timeline and the plan which has been planned to resolve the issues. “We’ll discuss it in our next meeting and we’ll see the status of implementation,” Modi said.
Adhia said that there are difficulties but the attempt has been to find a solution to alleviate problems of people.
Adhia, however, ruled out extending the timeline for filing of GSTR-3B returns. “Already decided that first cycle of GSTR 1,2,3 will be given a long rope…time for GSTR 1 is October 10, GSTR 2 will be October 31 and GSTR 3 will be November 10…In the meantime we have extended the time for GSTR-3B for six months. So, for 6 months people have to file their self-assessed summary return by 20th of the next month and there is not going to be any extension of time as far as 3B is concerned,” he said.