While the Government is launching funds and Startup India Programs to boost the startup ecosystem, a number of startups are facing problems with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ website which has not been functional for over a month now.
The portal helps startups with registration, incorporation, appointment of directors, tracking transactions etc.
The hapless startup founders have finally taken to social media for resentment and seeking help as raising tickets or helpdesk has not rendered any support so far.
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) April 24, 2016
Here’s What Happened
The Government had handed over the MCA contract to Infosys after taking it over from TCS. Infosys was asked to rebuild the 10-year-old site and ‘upgrade the technology’.
The upgraded portal went live on 27th March and before that a circular was issued, though all the startups did not receive it.
Requesting anonymity, a startup founder said, “We do not know whom to blame for this delay. Is it the ROC executives or the software which is not functional, we have no clue. But we are losing out on deals for these reasons. Few startups have already lost their investors as they did not receive approvals on time.”
He added, “The site has almost been at a standstill for over a month and since most of the companies are still traditional companies, voices has not been raised yet. I have raised many tickets already but have not received any response yet.”
Infosys did not reply to any query sent by NextBigWhat team.
“Subsequent to the New Companies Act, Infosys has upgraded the MCA21 system to run on the SAP platform, which went live on March 27, 2016. Post the go-live, as on April 22, over 1,183 Indian companies have been incorporated and 1,647 Limited Liability Partnerships have been registered on the system. In addition, since March 27, 2016, there have been more than 2 Lakh filings. Looking at the data for the week gone by in 2015 during the same week, we have had an average of 8013 filings per day (excluding the weekends) while the current average is around 9759, an increase of more than 20%.”
“During the first couple of weeks, after migrating to the new system, there were some issues which by and large have been sorted out. There were some delays in the incorporation of some companies due to holidays. The Ministry has made arrangements to clear the pendency by deploying additional Assessment Officers. We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with the Ministry. We expect the situation to come back to normal in the next few weeks,” Infosys said in a statement.
Though the PR statement by Infosys shows everything to be fine, reality is definitely not the same.
“The portal has always been erratic which delays and jeopardizes all our investments and deals. A CA generally asks for 15 days just to register a company because of the poor functioning of the Government run portal. The major issues crop up during the annual filings when the server overload is inevitable,” a startup founder elaborated on the condition of anonymity.
He further added that after the upgradation, even login doesn’t work, challans are not generated, no payment acknowledgment is received and the helpdesk is never ready to help.
Apparently, the Government has also sent a letter to Infosys chief Vishal Sikka and also warned the IT company of cancelling its full payment.
But well its worth a wait to watch what actions will the Government take to ‘stand-up’ to its “Startup India” programme.