New Delhi: Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance, and Corporate Affairs Minister of India has set the 15th September as the deadline for its IT Vendor Infosys to fix all the glitches plaguing the current functionalities of the new Income Tax filing portal, after conveying the government’s deep disappointment with the firm’s services to its CEO Salil Parekh.
The Minister had summoned Mr. Parekh on Monday to explain why the IT portal had still not stabilized and its flaws fixed, more than two and a half months since its launch and become inaccessible over the past weekend, within days of Ms. Sitharaman stating that she expected it to be fully functional within two to three days.
The Finance Minister demanded that the issues faced by taxpayers on current functionalities of the portal should be resolved by the team by 15 September 2021 so that taxpayers and professionals can work seamlessly on the portal,” an official communique after the meeting said, adding that Ms. Sitharaman also sought an explanation from Infosys on the mess.
Ms. Sitharaman has urged Mr. Parekh to put more resources and efforts into the portal so that the ‘the much-delayed delivery of agreed services is ensured’ and conveyed ‘the deep disappointment and concerns of the Government and taxpayers about the continuing glitches in the Income Tax e-filing portal.
The Infosys CEO, who was ‘sensitized on the difficulties’ taxpayers were facing and the repercussions of delays in the portal’s functioning explained that he and his team are doing everything to ensure the smooth functioning of the portal’, as per a statement from the Finance Ministry.
The fresh September 15 deadline proposed after the Minister met Mr. Parekh, indicates that taxpayers’ woes will last for almost another month, and even then, the full functionalities of the portal that the Finance Ministry had promised will ensure ‘immediate processing of income tax returns and quick refunds’ will remain a work in progress.
Along with other features, a mobile app was to be released after the initial launch of the portal. “Familiarisation with the new system may take some time, so, 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 get released since this is a major transition,” the IT department had said ahead of the portal’s launch in June.
Citing the difficulties reported by taxpayers in the electronic filing of IT returns, the Finance Ministry had earlier allowed a few forms to be submitted manually instead of online.