Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Over 5.2 lakh Common Service Centers [CSC] and around 1.5 lakh India Post offices across the country are being trained to boost the adoption of the public procurement portal Government eMarketplace (GeM), said the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel. CSCs and India Post offices will assist last-mile government buyers, sellers and service providers with support such as registration on the portal, preparing and uploading product catalogue and its management, accepting and fulfilling orders, and generating invoice, Patel said in reply to a Parliament Question during the ongoing budget session.
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GeM has signed a memorandum of understanding with Common Service Centre e-Governance Services India (CSC-SPV) and the Department of Post for the advocacy, outreach, mobilization, and capacity-building of last-mile government buyers, sellers and service providers in public procurement through the GeM portal, Patel added.
Moreover, value-added services such as photography of product images, packaging, logistics and shipment of packages through ‘speed post’ and ‘business parcel’ will be provided through the India Post website. Online, print and office communication channels will also be delivered to sellers and service providers at charges defined by CSC and the Department of Post and GeM services offered through CSCs will be made available to all Government buyers at no charge, the reply noted.
The portal currently has 58.86 lakh sellers offering over 30 lakh products and 2.58 lakh services to 66,536 buyers available. As of February 5, 2023, 1.34 crore orders worth Rs 4.08 lakh crore were placed on GeM, according to the data available on the portal.
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Patel said GeM has implemented various features and functionalities in an effort to increase transparency in public procurement such as providing a challenge rejection window to sellers who have been marked as disqualified in a bid by a buyer, giving sellers a feature to raise representation against any bid if the seller finds bidding parameters restrictive in any manner, publishing results of technical and financial evaluation of bids floated on GeM in the public domain, contactless platform where contact details of buyer and sellers are masked till placement of contract, displaying data of all contracts in the public domain, and more.
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