Forget Flipkart, Amazon, government is buying lakhs of smart phones from this little known portal

E-Commerce: Smart phones, bicycles, computers, printers and automobiles have emerged as the fastest moving categories on the portal.

GeM, Government E Marketplace, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues,
E-Commerce: GeM has fast emerged as the preferred mode of procurement for goods and services in the public sector.

Government E-Marketplace (GeM): Government departments are buying lakhs of smart phones, bicycles, computers and printers online to cut cost and root out corruption in public procurement. However, these large scale online purchases don’t mean big bucks to top e-commerce firms such as Amzaon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

Thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, a little known government portal is helping various ministries, departments, PSUs and state governments to purchase these items at competitive prices in a transparent manner.

Early this year when women and child development department of government of Maharashtra was looking to purchase over 1.2 lakh smart phones for its Poshan Abhiyan scheme, it did not turn to Amazon or Flipkart. It procured these phones at a total cost of Rs 100 crore, over Rs 8,300 a piece. The order was placed on Government E-Marketplace (GeM) portal through competitive bidding.

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Similarly, when India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) was surveying the market to procure around 1.5 lakh smart phones, availability of large number of original equipment manufacturers on government’s platform helped it to identify the right product. The Bank placed two different orders on the same day in November 2018 to procure 1.5 lakh smart phones at a cost of Rs 153 crore.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Government E-marketplace (GeM) in 2016 to provide a transparent and efficient mechanism for the public procurement worth over Rs 3 lakh crore a year.

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Within three years of its operation, the GeM notched a total turnover of over Rs 17,000 crore last year. Though the total value of confirmed orders was around Rs 22,000 crore but the orders worth over Rs 42,00 crore were delayed despite confirmation of the lowest bidder due to ongoing election process and other reasons.

In 2018-19, the total procurement by the state governments also crossed the total procurement by the central government on GeM platform.

Encouraged by the strong demands from the state governments, GeM CEO Radha Chauhan has set an ambitious target of notching a turnover of Rs 50,000 in the current financial year.

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First published on: 22-04-2019 at 20:22 IST