[PLUG] ITR e-filing on Linux

Swapnil Bhartiya swapnil.bhartiya at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 01:13:05 PDT 2010

> >
> > > I don't know yet if the IT-R form is the same this year too, but in any
> > > case, methinks publishing and popularizing this effort would be a nice
> > > thing.
> > >

I am picking up this story for Muktware.com, I am not sure if LINUX For You
will be interested in such stories. Any contacts/email ID of the department
heads are available? Being based out of Germany, I can't approach them as I
used to from India.

This is my set of questions for them, inputs welcome.



 I am Swapnil Bhartiya and I represent Muktware.com, a Open Source and Linux
web magazine. We came to notice that The Office of the Director General of
Income Tax (Systems) endorses a proprietary technology developed by
Microsoft -- EXCEL. The department endorses MS Excel, a proprietary software
by Microsoft as “System Requirements”. It is a strong case of 'vendor-lock'.


Considering the fact that ODF (Open Document Format) has been approved by
ISO this choice of a proprietary software raises many questions about
whether it is proper usage of tax-payers money.

 I am working on a story why the department is endorsing the usage of
Microsoft's proprietary technologies and thus forcing citizens into a

 1. What is the reason the department endorses/advertises a proprietary
product by a particular company?

2. Why is there no option to file forms in ISO approved formats like ODF
which is provided by Open Source organizations like OpenOffice.org.

3. A Gnu/Linux user can not file returns using the software department
endorses. They are forced to use a proprietary software to file their

4. For a country like India, tax-payer's money should be used wisely

(a) How does the department justify buying expensive licenses for
proprietary software while free, cheaper and better alternates are

(b) How does the department justify forcing citizens to buy licenses of
proprietary software to file tax returns?

5. Is there any consideration that the department will offer choice of
filing returns FOSS technologies as well?

 *The deadline to send inputs is June 6, 2010. *

 Best wishes

 Swapnil Bhartiya

More information about the plug-mail mailing list