Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the article in the RSS-linked publication Panchajanya, which alleged there was a ‘conspiracy’ behind the glitches in the new IT Portal handled by Infosys, is ‘not at all right’. She also said the Institute of Chartered Accountants is helping Infosys to help solve the issue.
Panchajanya’s cover story wrote how Infosys has ‘messed up’ the execution of the new tax-filing portal. The cover has a picture of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and the text Saakh Aur Aaghaat, which translates to ‘Reputation and a Grievous Harm’. The story also goes on to question if there is an ’anti-national’ conspiracy behind the glitches in the portal.
“That wasn’t right. I think they have also made a statement distancing themselves from whoever wrote it. I think that’s not called for and rightly people have withdrawn from it. It wasn’t right at all,” Sitharaman told CNN-News18 in an interview.
The minister also said that the government was working with Infosys to fix the problem. She said that she had called the company twice and also ‘drew the attention of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani to the issue. She said that the Institute of Chartered Accountants is helping them in solving the issue. “I am hopeful that Infosys will give us the final product,” she added.
Sitharaman had summoned Infosys CEO Salil Parekh last month and asked the company to resolve all issues by September 15. The CEO was summoned after the portal was shut for two days in a row.
However, the RSS has distanced itself from the article. “As an Indian company, Infosys has made a seminal contribution to the progress of the country. There might be certain issues with a portal run by Infosys, but the article published by Panchjanya in this context only reflects the individual opinion of the author,” Sunil Ambekar, all-India publicity in-charge of RSS, tweeted.
As an Indian company, Infosys has made seminal contribution in progress of the country. There might be certain issues with a portal run by Infosys, but the article published by Panchjanya in this context only reflects individual opinion of the author. @editorvskbharat
— Sunil Ambekar (@SunilAmbekarM) September 5, 2021
Ambekar said that Panchjanya was not the ‘mouthpiece of the RSS’ and hence the article published in the magazine ‘should not be linked to’ the organization.
Infosys was awarded the ₹4,242-crore contract in 2019 to develop the new portal for income tax filing, which would reduce the processing time for returns from 63 days to one day, and also expedite refunds. The government has paid ₹164.5 crore to Infosys from January 2019 to June 2021 to develop the portal.