Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 10
Come next year, individual customers will be able to buy products such as cars, computers and furniture through public procurement portal — Government e-Marketplace (GeM) — and save up to 25%.
The government is contemplating to widen the ambit of GeM. It is currently restricted to government departments only for procurement of goods and services. If the plan goes through, consumers and businesses will be able to buy products in a similar manner as they do on private online marketplaces.
“Having received good response from the government departments, we are working on modalities to permit the government contractors and private bulk buyers to use the platform for buying goods and services in the next six months. Further, by next year, we will allow individual customers and businesses to use the platform to access goods and services,” S Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary and Additional CEO, Government e-Marketplace, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told The Tribune.
On an average, the government departments save anywhere between 20-25% by purchasing on GeM.
“Currently, cars purchased by the government departments through this platform are cheaper than CSD as we have MoUs with manufacturers,” he said.
The Commerce Ministry had launched GeM in August 2016 with an objective to create an open and transparent procurement platform for the government departments.
According to data, the national portal for public procurement has generated over 19 lakh transactions worth Rs 36,000 crore to date. Currently, more than 10 lakh products are offered by over 2.4 lakh vendors on the platform.
Meanwhile, Kumar today signed an MoU with the Punjab government for setting up GeM Organisation Transformation Team (GOTT)-Project Management Unit (PMU). It will assist the buyer departments and agencies to transform their business activities, competencies and models to fully leverage the opportunities of an open market-based procurement.
By signing the MoU, Punjab becomes the first state for establishing the GOTT-PMU. In Punjab, only 203 state government departments out of 341 registered departments have made transactions on the platform.
On the GeM platform, Punjab has clocked transactions worth Rs 343 crore so far, with overall saving of 24.80% on procurement. The top five items bought by the state government departments included bags for packaging foodgrain, utility vehicles, ambulances, desktops and tablets.
Punjab on GeM
- Transactions: 3,952
- Value: Rs 334 crore
- Savings: 24.79%
- Potential: Rs 3,004 crore
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