Taxation
Technology Hitch: GSTN not Ready for GST Rollout
The Indian government has postponed until September the need to file returns under the goods and services tax (GST) and allowed tax payments to be based on a simple return (Form GSTR-3B) containing the summary of outward and inward supplies, which is to be submitted before 20th of the succeeding month. However, according to informed sources, the delay in GST rollout may be due to a serious difference between the GST Network (GSTN) and Infosys Ltd over the preparedness of the technology backbone to handle GST filings. 
 
While GSTN is responsible for providing the technology backbone to introduce GST and connect the databases of states and the centre, Infosys, the vendor appointed by GSTN, is building and maintaining technology network for the tax system. GSTN has informed the GST Council that they cannot comply with the deadlines for filing of the returns. Even an industry body, in a letter, has pointed out how the servers were constantly under maintenance during the GST migration period.
 
The agenda note (seen by Moneylife) of the GST Council's 17th meeting mentions the concerns raised by industry bodies and some of its members over the stability and robustness of the GST systems. "As the first round of beta testing of the GST system has been carried out by GSTN, the trade and industry are seeking that the system should be open for some time for them to try out and test it to get themselves familiarised and to get the assurance about its stability and robustness....So looking at the paucity of the time, it appears that filing of the returns for a particular period from 1 July 2017 may have to be extended so that the taxpayers get more time for getting familiarised with the system. It is to be noted that only the period for filing of the return for a particular period beyond the due date for filing of returns for one month of July 2017 to August 2017 may be extended and not the requirement for filing the returns for that period," the note states. 
 
In September 2015, Infosys won a contract worth Rs1,380 crore for building the technology network for implementing GST and maintaining it for five years. GSTN had bought hardware last year and Infosys was expected to install necessary software for the GST. The systems were made available for participants for 15 days to get familiar with the GST. 
 
Earlier this month, GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar had said that the IT system for the e-way bill was being worked out and may be deferred by a few months. There are also indications that Infosys may have told the government that it is not yet ready with its systems. 
 
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dr Subramanian Swamy indicated as much in his tweets. "Has Infosys announced that GSTN will not be ready before 1st July. Who is accountable for this if true?" he asked.
 
 
In his second tweet, Dr Swamy demanded that the Government nationalise GSTN and sack the GSTN Chairman for this “monumental fiasco” of being unable to activate it (GST) by 1st July.
 
 
Citing the statements from the GSTN CEO, industry body ASSOCHAM had said that GSTN will not be operational on 1 July 2017. Assocham, in a letter to GST Council Chairman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said, "It has been clearly stated by the CEO that the return module (which will facilitate filing of different returns before different prescribed dates) will be ready only by end-July, which will be before August, the month of filing returns."
 
"...during the current phase of GST migration for existing assessees, the server was constantly under maintenance. This raises huge question as to whether the IT infrastructure has been appropriately tested. It also raises questions as to whether this system can survive in the GST era when it had undergone maintenance during the second phase of migration when the traffic was restricted only to migration," Assocham Secretary General DS Rawat had said in the letter.
 
Under earlier plans, the government wanted to roll out GST from 1 April 2016, which was deferred. Finally, it is likely to roll out from 1st July. However, looking at the issues raised by stakeholders and service providers, GST appears to be a rollercoaster ride. 

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COMMENTS

Sisir

6 days ago

How could Nandan design GSTN with third parties who develop the software at the center? And how could a mindless govt allow this design? This is a privacy nightmare. This is a photocopy of Aadhaar megascam. Before anything else, this design itself needs an investigation, on the real motives of setting up GSTN.

Dark horse Ram Nath Kovind named NDA Presidential candidate
Springing a surprise, the BJP on Monday named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit and a BJP leader, as the ruling NDA's candidate for the July 17 Presidential election.
 
"We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate," Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said after a nearly two-hour meeting here of the party's Parliamentary Board attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.
 
He said the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance had been discussing the Presidential election for long. 
 
"The BJP also discussed the issue with all political parties and several sections of the society. After this, a long list (of candidates) was prepared which was discussed during the Parliamentary Board meeting," Shah told the media.
 
Kovind, 72, who emerged as the dark horse, is likely to file the nomination on June 23, he said. If elected, he will be the second Indian President after K.R. Narayanan to hail from the Dalit community.
 
The earlier names which were doing the rounds for Presidency included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
 
While all NDA allies have been informed of the BJP choice, Prime Minister Modi talked to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders about the NDA choice, the BJP President said.
 
Modi also spoke with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (JD-U), Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (BJD), Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (TRS) and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu (TDP). 
 
Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke to party veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.
 
"Ram Nath comes from a Dalit family and has struggled a lot. We hope he will be the unanimous candidate for the election," Shah said.
 
He said Kovind had had a long innings in public life and fought for the cause of Dalits and the poor.
 
An advocate by profession, Kovind was made the Governor of Bihar two years ago after the NDA took power in the centre in May 2014.
 
He once headed the BJP's Dalit wing. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for 12 years and was a member of several parliamentary panels.
 
He had practised law in both High Court and the Supreme Court.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Wage Board: Newspapers have to implement award in full, says SC
The Supreme Court has directed that the Majithia Wage Board recommendations on wages for newspaper employees have to be "implemented in toto" and managements could not cite lack of funds for avoiding payments.
 
It also said in its judgment on Monday that there was no difference between full-time employees and contract workers as far as the implementation of the Majithia Wage Board recommendations are concerned.
 
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, had on May 3 reserved its judgement in a contempt petion against newspaper groups brought by newspaper employee unions, including the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ).
 
The court said on Monday that newspapers' defiance of the earlier court order was not "wilful". 
 
Earlier, counsel for many newspaper groups had argued that implementing the Wage Board's recommendations would be beyond their paying capacity. The print media companies have said that any forced implementation would "cripple newspapers' finances". 
 
The newspaper unions had, however, argued that newspapers had the capacity to pay but were avoiding to do so.
 
The Majithia panel was set up by the Congress-led UPA government in 2007 and four years later its recommendations were accepted by the union cabinet. The Gazette notification on this was published on November 11, 2011. 
 
In February 2014, the Supreme Court had upheld the recommendations, directing the newspaper companies to implement the recommendations.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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