Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the inclusion of cooperatives as buyers on the public procurement marketplace Government eMarketplace (Gem). Launched in August 2016, GeM so far allowed procurement of goods and services by government departments, ministries, and public sector units (PSUs) from MSMEs and others enterprises. “This will bring transparency into cooperatives, help them benefit from the GeM marketplace, and give GeM sellers access to a bigger base of buyers,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told reporters in a Cabinet briefing. Currentlly, GeM is not available for private sector buyers while sellers could be from across all segments including government or private.
The Cabinet noted that validated list of cooperatives to be onboarded on GeM for pilot as well as subsequent scale up will be decided by Ministry of Cooperation in consultation with GeM Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). This will ensure that technical capacity and logistics requirement of the GeM system are taken into account while deciding the pace of on boarding of Cooperative as buyers on GeM, said a Cabinet statement.
The marketplace will offer a dedicated onboarding process for cooperatives along with the technical infrastructure to support additional users on existing portal, as well as provide assistance to cooperatives for onboarding and transaction journeys, via available contact centers, in-field training and other support services, it said. However, the overall pace of roll-out would be decided by Ministry of Cooperation while the milestones and target dates will be aligned mutually between Ministry of Cooperation and GeM.
There are over 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives with 27 crore members in the country that would now be eligible to onboard the GeM platform. However, the portal might need “some investments in additional technology infrastructure, and additional training and support resources. To cover for these incremental costs, GeM may charge an appropriate transaction fee from cooperatives, to be decided in mutual consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation. Such charges shall not be more than the charges which GeM would charge to other Government buyers,” the Cabinet noted.
During FY19-FY22 period, the gross merchandise value (GMV) of the portal jumped over 84.5 per cent CAGR and crossed Rs 1 lakh crore in FY22 alone, which was higher than the cumulative GMV till FY21. “In the past four years, Rs 6,220 crore procurement was made in FY18 that grew to Rs 1,06,000 crore in FY22. Similarly, the cumulative buyer count also jumped from 21,254 to 59,130 while cumulative seller count increased from 86,835 to more than 40,02,000 during FY18-FY22 period,” said Thakur.