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. ®

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Infosys celebrates first birthday of glitchy Indian tax portal by fixing another bug
    Search fail added to list of embarrassing issues since debut

    Infosys celebrated the first anniversary of the e-filing portal it built for India's tax authorities fixing another prominent glitch – this time a search functionality error.

    Complaints about the error streamed in to India's Income Tax Department, which tweeted about the error on Tuesday.

    Continue reading
  • India extends deadline for compliance with infosec logging rules by 90 days
    Helpfully announced extension on deadline day

    Updated India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the local Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) have extended the deadline for compliance with the Cyber Security Directions introduced on April 28, which were due to take effect yesterday.

    The Directions require verbose logging of users' activities on VPNs and clouds, reporting of infosec incidents within six hours of detection - even for trivial things like unusual port scanning - exclusive use of Indian network time protocol servers, and many other burdensome requirements. The Directions were purported to improve the security of local organisations, and to give CERT-In information it could use to assess threats to India. Yet the Directions allowed incident reports to be sent by fax – good ol' fax – to CERT-In, which offered no evidence it operates or would build infrastructure capable of ingesting or analyzing the millions of incident reports it would be sent by compliant organizations.

    The Directions were roundly criticized by tech lobby groups that pointed out requirements such as compelling clouds to store logs of customers' activities was futile, since clouds don't log what goes on inside resources rented by their customers. VPN providers quit India and moved their servers offshore, citing the impossibility of storing user logs when their entire business model rests on not logging user activities. VPN operators going offshore means India's government is therefore less able to influence such outfits.

    Continue reading
  • Indian government issues confidential infosec guidance to staff – who leak it
    Bans VPNs, Dropbox, and more

    India's government last week issued confidential information security guidelines that calls on the 30 million plus workers it employs to adopt better work practices – and as if to prove a point, the document quickly leaked on a government website.

    The document, and the measures it contains, suggest infosec could be somewhat loose across India's government sector.

    "The increasing adoption and use of ICT has increased the attack surface and threat perception to government, due to lack of proper cyber security practices followed on the ground," the document opens.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022