New Delhi [India], June 1 (ANI): Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday called upon Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to expand its scope and to include more participants in the GeM portal for public procurement of both products and services.
Interacting with the Officers of GeM and the department of Commerce, the minister said, "It should not only evolve as One-Stop shop for the requirement of all Central and State Government Offices as well as their Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) but should also provide opportunities to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to showcase their products".
Lauding the paperless, cashless, and system-driven e-marketplace- GeM which enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface, Goyal said, "The Prime Minister has a lot of expectation from the portal and it should come up to them".
He also said that the portal should be cautious against cartelization by the sellers.
Stressing that the integration of GeM with the Railway e-procurement system towards the Unified Procurement System for buyers should be done expeditiously, the minister said, "This will usher in a lot of savings for the public exchequer, and will pave the way for big-ticket procurements by the Petroleum and Steel sectors also. The pilot bidding of Railway's buyers through an 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".
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry also informed that there has been a fast growth in the scale and impact of GeM.
"Its order value reached Rs 38620 crore in FY 2020-21. There are over 52 thousand buyers and over 18.75 lakh sellers registered on the portal, dealing in 16,332 product catalogs and 187 service catalogs. 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'," it added.
The ministry also informed of the several COVID-19 related initiatives taken by GeM, such as prioritization products and brand approval for the Covid-19 categories. The portal has also enabled the extension of the delivery period by 30 days beyond the expiry of the original delivery period.
Reduction of the bid duration from 10 days to 1, and that of the delivery period from 15 days to 2 days are also a part of the Covid-19 related initiatives.
"The order value in the Covid-19 categories from March'20 to May'21 has been Rs 7863 Crore, including Rs 268 crore worth of Oxygen concentrators", the ministry informed.
Several new features and functionalities have also been rolled out based on feedback from both Buyers and Sellers, it added. (ANI)