The commerce ministry has started the process of shutting down over 100-year-old government procurement arm – Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D)- in this fiscal, a senior official said. The public procurement of goods and services is being managed by the ministry’s e-market platform (GeM) since last year. Before closing, the ministry has to decide upon the issues concerning manpower, land and office spaces of the directorate, which are present all over the country. “We are closing DGS&D. We would close it in this fiscal only…It is more than 100-year-old organisation,” the ministry official, who did not wish to be named, said.
Currently, the directorate has four regional offices including Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It has 12 Purchase Directorates (Commodity-wise) at its headquarters here. Besides, there are 20 offices /sub centres and the staff strength is over 1,200. DGS&D has its origin in the India Stores Department, which was established in 1860 in London for purchase of imported stores.
In 1922, India Stores Department was established in India to arrange purchases for Government Civil Departments and Military Purchases. In 1951, the set-up of Purchase and Inspection was reorganised and DGS&D was constituted, in its present form, to handle all government purchases centrally. A minor restructuring happened in 1974, when defence and railways were allowed to procure items meant for their exclusive use. The directorate has two professional service cadres — Indian Supply Service and Indian Inspection Service.
Last year, GeM was launched by the ministry to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurement. The GeM portal has eliminated human interface in vendor registration, order placement and payment processing to a great extent.
The central and state governments procure goods and services worth over Rs 5 lakh crore annually. Currently, over 20,000 sellers are registered on this portal for selling over 50,000 products.