The government is considering to widen the ambit of its procurement portal GeM by permitting government contractors and private bulk buyers to use the platform for buying goods and services, an official said. Currently, they are not allowed to procure goods and services from the Government e-marketplace (GeM) platform managed by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
At present, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and Central Armed Police Forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal. The Commerce Ministry is in the process of preparing a cabinet note for allowing government contractors and private bulk buyers to use the platform, the GeM official said. Further, there is also a consideration to open the platform for general consumers in the coming years.
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The portal was launched in August 2016 for online purchases of goods and services by all the central government ministries and departments as well as states. West Bengal-cadre IAS officer Talleen Kumar was recently appointed as the new chief executive officer of GeM. According to GeM, 2,66,812 sellers and service providers have registered with the portal so far to sell 11,64,243 products and 15,252 services.
The government has made it mandatory for all the departments and ministries to source goods and services from its e-marketplace. The move is aimed at bringing in more transparency and streamlining government procurement which runs into lakhs of crores of rupees.
The portal provides a wide ranging products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are currently the top product categories. Services, including transportation, logistics, waste management, web casting and analytical, among others, are listed on the portal. Public procurement worth Rs 50,000 crore is expected to take place through GeM during 2019-20, up from Rs 33,366 crore currently.