A high-powered group of ministers will meet every fortnight to resolve over two dozen technical glitches identified in the GST tax portal GSTN, the panel's head and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi has said.
Over 25-odd glitches, which had led to the GST-Network portal crashing on at least two occasions in the very first month of filing, relate largely to payments and registration, he told PTI after the five-member GoM held its first meeting in Bengaluru yesterday.
The grouping had extensive interaction with executives of Infosys, which is providing the IT support for the portal, and businesses will notice a "lot of difference" on the GSTN portal in the next 7-10 days, Modi said.
The GSTN website had faced glitches last month as taxpayers flogged to the portal on the last day of the deadline of filing returns for July.
"Over 25 issues have been identified which needs to be resolved and timelines have been set for each of them. Overall we are satisfied with the performance of GSTN and Infosys is doing its best to make it error free," said Modi.
The GSTN, the information technology (IT) backbone and portal for real-time taxpayer registration, migration, and tax return filing under the GST, had developed a snag last month when the first deadline for filing of returns approached, forcing the government to extend the last date.
Besides Modi, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, Chhattisgarh Minister of Commercial Taxes Amar Agrawal, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender are part of the GoM.
Modi said the GoM noted that the tendency of taxpayers is to file returns on the last day, which is evident from the fact that only 3.5 lakh taxpayers have so far filed GSTR-3B for the month of August. The last date for filing is September 20.
Over 47 lakh returns in GSTR-3B was filed in July and the GST to the tune of Rs 95,000 crore was collected in the maiden month of roll-out.
On September 15, GSTN officials and state commercial tax officers also held meetings with bankers, large taxpayers and tax experts to decipher the procedural issues being faced by them on the portal.
"The GoM will meet every 15 days to review the functioning of GSTN. The GSTN system is robust and load is not an issue. We are looking into the procedural issues," Modi said.
So far, over 22 crore invoices have been uploaded on the GSTN portal, which has a capacity of handling over 3 billion invoices.
GSTR-3B is only a simple return which will ease compliance burden of businesses. Businesses will have to upload invoices and file final returns in form GSTR-1, 2 and 3 on a stipulated date.
The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had last week decided to extend the last date for filing final returns for July by a month to October 10. GSTR-2 for July will have to be filed byOctober 31 and GSTR-3 byNovember 10.
Currently, there are over 85 lakh registered taxpayers under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. This include 62 lakh assessees who have migrated from the excise, service tax and VAT system and another 23.18 lakh new registration.
Among this, 10.96 lakh businesses have opted for composition scheme, under which they have to file returns quarterly.