The technical glitches
on the GST Network
(GSTN), which has off late irked several traders as well as politicians across the country, will take another six to nine months to get resolved.
V Ramaswamy, Global Head at TCS iON, the Tata Consultancy Services wing that offers solutions in the SMB, education and high stake assessment space, is of the view that the current storm over glitches in the GSTN is owing to a combination of policy-related issues and technical bumps that can be sorted in the next 6-9 months.
The primary glitch, which is leading to payment gateway failures while filing the tax returns, is on account of the platform integration problem between the GSTN and the various GSPs (GST Service Providers).
“The platform of GSTN
has to integrate with the platform of GSPN (GSP Network) of several organisations. This integration is not fully stable today”, Ramaswamy told Business Standard.
In 2015, Infosys won the Rs 1,380-crore deal to develop and run the platform for companies to file their GST returns that later came to be known as the GSTN.
Thereafter, 32 solutions companies, including TCS, were selected to act as conduits for taxpayers to the GSTN. These came to be known as the GSPs.
Although as an entity, TCS is one such GSP, the entire platform is run by TCS iON, the division that specialises in IT services for education and the small-medium enterprises.
Ramaswamy explained that in case there are changes in the application programming interface (API), which is a software intermediary allowing communication between two applications, problems over the integration of two platforms arise. This is exactly what is happening between the GSTN and the GSPN, thereby, resulting in transactions being declined.
Asked if it is a policy-related or a technology-related issue, he said: “It’s a combination. You can never blame one. If you are contracted to me, you have to be clear on your specifications so that I can develop it. However, if there are uncertainties, I have to develop it in such a way that even when you change, I can smoothly migrate”.
“It has got a lot of uncertainties today but as things stabilise and as the policy becomes much more stable, these things will settle down. But today, there are a lot of uncertainties in these linkages and we have to be patient”, he added.
Earlier this month, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) had threatened to take Infosys, the GSTN
provider, to court after expressing their anger with the new network. During the initial days of the rollout of the new tax
regime, TCS iON had also launched educative content to help the SMEs improve their understanding of GST.
The new tax regime has also taken a toll on India’s largest software company. Although the official couldn’t quote the rate of decline of business from the SMB segment following the GST rollout, he admitted that in the past three months, he has seen a decline in the number of contracts signed between his company and his SMB clients.
“Our rate of growth of SMB has come down a bit but we expect it’s momentary because of this change. By the end of this year, some of the noises will settle down”, he said. The SMB and SME segment accounts for 30 per cent of TCS iON’s annual earnings.
via GST Network to stabilise in next 6-9 months: TCS wing | Business Standard News