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Issue of January 2005 

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Outsourcing the tax exchange

Outsourcing seems to be the name of the game in the enterprise with government agencies adopting it as well. One of the latest in the build, own, operate, transfer (BOOT) enterprise infrastructure deals is the Government of India's TINXSYS, a nationwide tax information exchange system.

To be implemented by ICICI Infotech, the TINXSYS platform will help dealers in one state validate the registration of competing dealers in another state. The project, which currently in a pilot phase will go live from April 2005 along with the proposed introduction of VAT.

"TINXSYS will ensure trade-friendly tax compliance and will be set up by ICICI Infotech on a build, own, operate, and transfer model for a five year period. At the end of this period, the infrastructure would be transferred to the government at no cost," says Manoj Kunkalienkar, Executive Director, ICICI Infotech Ltd.

The exchange will also provide commercial tax departments in various states with the ability to track inter-state trades. TINXSYS will provide interface channels including telephonic helplines and Internet access for traders to validate relevant information. The system will also integrate data from all states and union territories by linking up data from the tax department systems into the national exchange. This will enable sales tax departments in states to track and validate inter-state trade information as well as provide decision support information.

The TINXSYS project will be supported out of two BS7799 compliant data centres—a primary data centre in Mumbai, and a Disaster Recovery (DR) centre in Chennai. TINXSYS envisages a DR plan whereby a mirror image of the data centre facilities will be maintained at the DR site on a 24x7 basis. According to ICICI Infotech, a disaster at the main site will toggle a

seamless switchover to the secondary site. The network will use a combination of leased lines, VSATs, and ISDN lines.

Yet another objective is to provide the committee of finance ministers or central government with data and tools for decision support in national level policy-making. ICICI Infotech plans to bring in business intelligence into the system at a later stage with data warehousing and data mining.

"The first phase involves getting all the data into a central repository, which can then be mined to provide inputs for trade analysis and a variety of policy-making measures," says Kunkalienkar.

- Anil Patrick R

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