Traders are having a tough time because of many technical glitches in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) portal, as a result of which they have not been able to file their returns for September. The traders have urged the Ministry of Finance to extend the last date for filing the returns to 31 December.
The problem started in the second week of October when the traders found numerous technical glitches on the website, because of which the dealers and consultants were not able to file their GSTR 3B return for the month of September. This prompted the traders’ body, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to write to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend the deadline.
Acting on the request, the ministry extended the deadline for filing summary sales return for September by five days to 25 October. However, the problem is far from over and a large number of traders have still not been able to file their returns.
This is not the first time glitches have been reported. Last year, a Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, formed to look into the issue found that Infosys could not fix the technical glitches. The software company has built the technology network for GST and is also responsible for maintaining it.
CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal told The Sunday Guardian that extending the date till 25 October “failed to serve our purpose and therefore we again request the minister to extend the last day to 31 December”.
“The technical glitches still exist in the portal. Its efficiency has not been maintained. There are changes from time to time. But the portal has not been able to make the subsequent changes,” he explained.
“The GST portal remains down. It does not take more than 1.5 lakh users at a time. There are complaints of entered figures automatically converting to zero. There are other miscellaneous errors popping up at the time of uploading,” said a trader.
He said since many traders could not file GSTR 3B in time due to the glitches, they were unable to avail the credit for any purchase invoice for the financial year 2017-18, according to the provisions of Section 16(4). Moreover, he said, a dealer would be liable to the automatic levy of late fees from midnight of 21 October, without any fault on his part.
In his letter to FM Jaitley, Khandelwal said: “The government is losing out revenue due to issues of system. Such problems in GST portal are there from the inception of the law. All the dealers and consultants are suffering due to these problems. We are also feeling embarrassed asking for the extension again and again every month. But we are helpless.”