Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal has recently called upon Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to expand its scope and include more participants in GeM portal for public procurement of both Products & Services.
Interacting with the officers of GeM and the department of Commerce, he said that it should not only evolve as one-stop shop for the requirement of all central and state government offices as well as their PSUs, but also provide opportunities to MSMEs to showcase their products.
Lauding GeM as a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface, Goyal said that Hon’ble PM has a lot of expectation from the portal and it should come upto them. He said that the portal should be cautious against the cartelization by the sellers.
Goyal stressed that integration of GeM with the Railway e-procurement system towards the unified procurement system for buyers should be done expeditiously. He said that this will usher in a lot of savings for the public exchequer. The minister said that this will also pave the way for big-ticket procurements by the Petroleum and Steel sectors also. The pilot bidding of railways buyers through integrated system is expected to commence by August end. About Rs 50,000 crore worth of annual procurement may be done by the Railways on GeM post the above integration.
There has been fast growth in scale and impact of GeM. Its order value reached Rs 38,620 cr in FY 2020-21. There are over 52,000 buyers and over 18.75 lakh sellers registered on the portal, dealing in 16,332 product catalogues and 187 service catalogues. GeM started as the national procurement portal for goods and services exclusively, but in accordance with the vision laid down in the budget speech of FY 2020-21, GeM is moving towards becoming a Unified Procurement System for goods, services as well as Works Contracts.
GeM has taken several Covid-19 related initiatives, which includes prioritisation of products/brand approval for the categories. Extension of delivery period by 30 days beyond expiry of original delivery period has been enabled. Bid duration has been reduced from 10 to 1 day, and delivery period reduced from 15 to 2 days. The order value in Covid-19 categories from March’20 to May’21 has been Rs 7863 cr, including Rs 268 crore worth of Oxygen concentrators.
Several new features and functionalities have been rolled out based on feedback from both buyers and sellers:
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