I dont understand this - apparently the IT department’s software division wants to make a XML generator using Excel macros. Why do this, when you can do the exact same thing using the legally free and opensource OpenOffice . Not only that, OpenOffice works with XML right from the beginning, which means you can use OpenOffice macros much more effectively than Excel’s.
Moreover, you have excellent documentation and examples and a well supported community around it. Moreover, other people have managed to port quite a few of our own income-tax deptt’s forms to OpenOffice Spreadsheet.
I am finding it hard to conceive that our government is expecting us to fork over a substantial amount of money (and on average, a month’s salary) in dollars for something that is as easily achieved using free and opensource tools.
It is these issues which are restricting the spread of software and information technology to increase productivity in the govt. (and govt. led initiatives).
At this point, I would not be shocked if our Unique ID project (led by Nandan Nilekani) decides to support only Internet Explorer for any interactions.