NEW DELHI: The government plans to open up the national online procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to government contractors and private entities but only for bulk buying.
Officials said the government plans to expand the mandate of the GeM to include these two categories. Currently, GeM allows only government departments and public sector units to buy from the portal.
“The Cabinet’s approval is needed this expansion. The final decision has not happened. A draft cabinet note is being made,” said one official.
Separately, there is a thinking to change the structure of GeM and make it a public limited company, the official added.
At present, the National Public Procurement Portal is Section 8 Company registered under the Companies Act, 2013, for providing procurement of goods & services required by Central & State Government organizations.
The marketplace is also working on an online seller and buyer rating mechanism which will allow sellers to avail working capital loans where the cost of capital is linked to the performance and rating of sellers.
“This will help the sellers in general and the MSMEs in particular to access easy credit and do better business with the government. In addition, GeM is contemplating the creation of EMD pool account for making it easy for sellers to comply with the EMD requirements while responding to bids,” the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement.
The portal has already integrated the GeM Pool Account with seven public sector banks for timely payments to vendors and is in the process of creating a standardised bid document for various contacts devised by the ministries, in order to shorten the procurement cycle.
As per GeM CEO Talleen Kumar, the gross merchandise value (GMV) on GeM portal has crossed Rs 36,000 crore and nearly 40,000 buyer organisations are registered on this procurement portal. There are over 2.95 lakh sellers/service providers on GeM. Average time taken for seller registration has come down from 20 days to 2 days.
More than 3,000 startups are already registered on GeM and they have received orders amounting to Rs 522 crore till date. Kumar said the marketplace also working with the rural development ministry, state government emporia and development commission, Handicrafts, to on board self-help groups and artisan clusters on the platform, Kumar said.
The commerce and industry ministry launched the GeM on August 9, 2016 in place of Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform of commonly used goods and services for all government departments, ministries and agencies. It aims to streamline procurement by the central and state governments, which put together, is estimated at Rs 5-7 lakh crore each year.