Frequent changes in the GST rates by the government have added to Infosys’ woes as the software major seeks to spruce up its network to address the glitches related to GST.

Sources within the government and GST Suvidha providers told BusinessLine that “unreasonable” demands made by the government and a lack of adequate network infrastructure that can connect to their IT systems has caused considerable headache to businesses. “They (Infosys) were told to add features like ‘Opting out’ (for filers) in a couple of day’s notice, which the company said was unreasonable,” said a government source.

In the midst of this proposed change, a GST Suvidha provider pointed out that they have had a problem of connecting their IT systems to the Infosys network from the third week of this month, which happened for a second consecutive time. All GST system functionalities such as registration of entities, uploading of invoices, filing of returns will be available through APIs or Appication Programming Interfaces. APIs is tech terminology for connecting into different kinds of IT systems.

Infy denies it

Infosys denies this and throws numbers to back its claims. A company spokesperson in a statement said that the system has already demonstrated success across several parameters — till date 37 crore invoices have been uploaded on the system which is designed to handle 300-320 crore invoices every month.

Some of these modifications have resulted in rapid changes to the system particularly due to its integration with heterogeneous IT ecosystems, including GST Suvidha Providers, Aadhaar, Central Board of Excise and Customs and Model 1 states.

Further, according to Infosys data, 70 lakh tax payers have successfully migrated to the new system and the country has recorded 25 lakh new registered taxpayers.

Central and State level tax regimes have been integrated across all 29 States and 7 Union Territories in addition to managing one lakh active users with peak loads during the last two days of filing wherein 50 per cent of the filings were done.

It is during this timeframe that businesses have had maximum trouble.

“If you are talking about one of the largest technology rollouts, Infosys needs to ensure sufficient capacity like availability of servers to ensure that such issues do not crop up next time,” said Mohan Lavi, a Bengaluru-based Chartered Accountant. A medium-size electronics distributor in Mumbai had encountered problems as basic as emails bouncing back. “When I had sent an email regarding the value of item in case of free replacement, the mail bounced,” he said.

Infosys counters that a transformative project like this has to deal with changes in both policy and stakeholder usability. “Given the complex nature of the project and rapid change management, there have been several stakeholder concerns that have also been raised. Some of our finest engineers are supporting the GSTN team as they work towards resolving these and serving all stakeholders,” said an Infosys spokesperson.

This is not the first time Infosys has courted trouble in government projects. In 2016, Infosys, which was managing the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal, came under fire from the government as businesses had difficulty in uploading documents. Recently, in the GST Council meeting, Infosys was asked to design a more user-friendly interface for the portal and deploy more manpower to ensure a smother GST filing process.

CBI probe demanded

The Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT) has asked for a CBI inquiry on Infosys and other companies involved in the GST portal for failing to ensure satisfactory performance and has asked to release a whitepaper on the status of the portal.

“Even after four months of GST implementation, the portal which was supposed to function properly from July 1 is still working like an experiment project causing much harassment and mental concern to traders across the country,” said BC Bhartia, National President of CAIT.