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Infosys skips government meeting – and collecting government taxes

You call this a glitch?

Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

The troublesome project is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India's Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a "technical glitch" that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

One of the failing forms, GSTR-2B, is an auto-drafted Input Tax Credit statement for GST registered businesses, made available monthly to claim credits.

April's FORM GSTR-3b, a self-declared summary GST return filed every month, is now due May 24, 2022 and some tax filers have until May 27 to make payment.

The agency that provides the tech for GST, known as the Goods and Services Tax Network, released an advisory explaining that "affected taxpayers interested in filing GSTR-3B are requested to file the return on self-assessment basis using GSTR-2A."

"The technical team is working to resolve this issue for the impacted taxpayers and generate fresh GSTR-2B at the earliest," said the GST network.

Infosys won the contract to build and maintain India's digital GST system in 2015, but the system has been fraught with errors. The company later won the work to build India's income tax portal and it too has proven problematic, with a very messy launch that earned Infosys verbal lashings from Indian politicians.

Infosys's other prominent problem this week pertains to the non-compete clauses it's used as part of efforts to retain staff.

The IT services giant has struggled to keep employees on the books, reporting quarterly attrition rates of over 25 percent.

Infosys CFO Nilanjan Roy argued that the only way out of the churn was to employ more recent graduates. Yet the company has also employed non-compete clauses that make it hard for staff to leave and work for rivals, or on projects at companies served by Infosys.

The clauses' legality has been questioned by labor rights organization Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), which complained to India's Ministry of Labour & Employment.

The Ministry called Infosys in for a "please explain" meeting, but Infosys chose not to attend.

NITES told The Register the meeting was rescheduled for May 17 and that Labour Ministry officials and NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja attended, but Infosys was again absent.

"NITES have submitted supporting evidences against Infosys to the authorities for further action," Saluja told The Reg. "We have apprised Hon'ble Labour Ministry that the non compete agreement is illegal & the Indian Contract law and Supreme court judgements are clear regarding the same."

A third chat is scheduled for May 26, 2022. We've asked Infosys if it intends to show up, and for info on the status of the GST portal. ®

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