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FM summons Infosys chief Parekh for failing to fix flaws in portal for e-filing income tax returns

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The finance ministry has directed Infosys chief Salil Parekh to submit an explanation tomorrow to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as to why the glitches in the new income tax e-filing portal have not been set right despite two and a half months having passed since the launch of the site by the company.

The company has failed to live up to its promise despite repeated assurances that the problems would be fixed. Infosys chairman Nadan Nilekani had said issues would be resolved in a matter of days but this has not happened.

Complaints continue to come in and since August 21 the portal is not available at all in what appears to be a complete breakdown. 

The glitches are turning out to be a major embarrassment for the government as the e-filing portal was set up to make the system more taxpayer-friendly and reduce the human interface to curb corruption. 

Also read:  Income Tax Dept. launches new e-filing portal

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had expressed concern over the issue in June at a meeting held in her office with Parekh and senior Infosys executive Praveen Rao. They were asked to work on the portal to make it "more humane and user-friendly."  However, this has not happened despite the assurance. 

"Ministry of Finance has summoned Sh Salil Parekh,MD&CEO @Infosys on 23/08/2021 to explain to hon'ble FM as to why even after 2.5 months since launch of new e-filing portal, glitches in the portal have not been resolved. In fact, since 21/08/2021 the portal itself is not available," read a tweet from the official Income Tax India handle today.

Infosys had designed the new portal, which was found to have several technical issues after it started service on June 7.  Several taxpayers had started tweeting screenshots of the flaws in the site and tagging the finance minister.

The trouble areas included even simple tasks like profile updation or change of passwords. Many users also said the portal was extremely slow and logging in took too much time. 

The trouble with the site has been posing a major hurdle for e-filing of tax returns which was expected to gather momentum, especially during the pandemic.