Infosys to roll out GST network soon

IT services provider Infosys will soon implement the central government’s ambitious project to network the country for its Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection.

“As the sole vendor for the five-year project, we will set up the network across the country connecting all states and operate it for the new tax collection system,” Infosys chief operating officer U.B. Pravin Rao told reporters here.

The IT bellwether recently bagged the $200-million (Rs.13,130 crore) multi-year deal from the finance ministry in a competitive bid, outsmarting four other contenders, including rivals TCS and Wipro.

“The project involves designing and developing software applications and hardware for the network system, installing it in states, integrating it with the existing infrastructure, training personnel to operate and maintain its ecosystem,” Rao said on margins of the company’s briefing on financial results for second quarter (April-September) of fiscal 2015-16.

The GST rollout will depend on the passage of its bill by parliament. It is held up in the Rajya Sabha for want of political consensus although the Lok Sabha had passed it during monsoon session in August.

“GST is yet to become a law, as its bill is still in parliament. We, however, want to execute the project for its rollout in time as the government is keen to implement it from April 1, 2016,” Rao said.

As the Modi government is keen to enforce the new tax system from next fiscal (2016-17), the ruling NDA will take up the 122 amendment bill, 2014, in the upper house during the winter session of parliament and build consensus with opposition parties.

The ministry had set up a GST Network firm to provide the technology backbone to rollout the GST system and link the databases of states with its server in New Delhi.

The system will also enable taxpayers to register their permanent account numbers (PAN) and file tax returns and process payments online in a bid to check tax evasion and widen the tax base.

The network will facilitate traders with turnover above Rs 10 lakh per annum to register on the website without verification by state tax departments, said Infosys.

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