The government’s online marketplace for public procurement–Government e-Marketplace (GeM)–has set a target to almost triple its order book in FY22 to 1 trillion with the government integrating the portal with its e-procurement website and onboarding the railway procurements.

Orders placed via GeM rose from 23,000 crore in FY20 to 37,000 crore in FY21 with compound annual growth of 93% since the portal was launched in August 2016.

“This shows acceptability of the buyers of both the state and central government organizations and their confidence on the usability of the portal,” Talleen Kumar, chief executive officer of GeM said.

Kumar said GeM has now implemented the policy statement in the FY21 Budget speech of a unified procurement system in the country. “We have integrated with the central public procurement portal to have a single user experience and now integrating with the Indian railways electronic procurement system so that railways can seamlessly place their bids on GeM. We will complete the whole integration process by end March,” he added.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her FY21 Budget speech had said: “Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is moving ahead for creating a Unified Procurement System in the country for providing a single platform for procurement of goods, services and works. It offers a great opportunity for Medium, Small and micro Enterprises (MSMEs). 3.24 lakh vendors are already on this platform. It is proposed to take its turnover to 3 lakh crores.”

Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan said the idea is that everything that government requires should ultimately be available on GeM. “That is where we are heading. Because some items are specialty items and require technical evaluation. No matter how complex it is with many functionalities, the items should be on GeM platform,” he added.

GeM helps governments achieve the best value for the taxpayers’ money by carrying out efficient public procurement using tools such as e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation. The earlier system consisted of a manual process for invitation of bids, bid evaluation and finalization of the winning bid under the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) which was an over 100 year old government procurement arm. After GeM was launched, government abolished DGS&D.

GeM has also provided the government procurement agencies an option to select MSME vendors for procurement which has helped MSMEs to significantly increase their sales. Any procurement up to 25,000 can be directly purchased from available vendors on the GeM if it meets the required quality, specification and delivery period. For procurement above 25,000, purchases have to be made following procedures such as price comparision, bidding or reverse auction, where the criterion of the lowest price among available suppliers on the GeM has to be followed to ensure price efficiency.

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