The Narendra Modi government has launched the national mission on Government eMarketplace (GeM) with the aim to boost cashless, paperless and contactless transactions in line with Digital India. Speaking at the launch, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said that transactions via GeM will hit $100 billion in next three years and that the national mission will help in bringing more self-help groups, artisans and start-ups on the platform.
GeM is an online platform for the procurement of goods and services by the commerce ministry. So far, about 27,000 buyers organisations from the centre, states and public sector units and 1.37 lakh sellers and service providers are registered on the platform. In the last two years, the government said, GeM has recorded more than 7.25 lakh transactions worth over Rs 11,250 crore.
The online platform was launched in August 2016 to facilitate procurement of goods and services needed by both central and state governments. About 25 states have signed an agreement with GeM for procurement or sale of goods and services via the platform.
“It is aimed at creating awareness about GeM, train the buyers and sellers, get them registered in GeM and increase the procurement through GeM,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement, adding that it will improve overall efficiency and save government money spent on procurement.
The government has been pushing for more digital transactions and building a cashless society. Recently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council approved Rs 100 cashback on digital transactions to BHIM UPI and Rupay card users on a pilot basis.
Earlier this year, the government said that it will be launching more dynamic and vibrant GeM portal for public procurement purposes. The new portal will have a powerful search engine, real-time price comparison, user rating and analytics among other features.