Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The initiative focused on offering direct market access to around 35.22 lakh handloom workers and 27 lakh handicraft artisans while doing away with the intermediaries, according to the government.
Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The initiative to boost seller registration and onboarding of weavers and artisans launched by Government e-Marketplace (GeM) on its platform in July last year has recorded 28,374 new artisans and 1,49,422 weavers joining the platform till August 30, 2021. According to the government, the initiative was launched with the support of officials from the Office of Development Commissioner Handloom and Development Commissioner Handicrafts to help weavers and artisans sell directly to government departments and public sector units. “Officers from 56 Handicraft Service Centres and 28 Weaver Service Centres were trained and engaged in the seller registration process.” Textiles ministry said in a statement.
28 exclusive product categories were created for handloom products along with 170 custom product categories for handicraft products, dedicated web banners, and market pages for Indian handloom and Indian handicrafts made by artisans, weavers, cooperative societies, self-help groups, and producer companies. The ministry said the initiative was focused on offering direct market access opportunities to around 35.22 lakh handloom workers and 27 lakh handicraft artisans while doing away with the intermediaries.
In June last year, former textiles minister Smriti Irani had said that the government is looking to connect 50 lakh weavers and artisans with the GeM portal for direct access to government departments. In an online interaction organized by industry body FICCI, Irani had said that the government is jointly working with the National Informatics Centre “to ensure that we have a platform which can help commercialize the potential of our artisans and weavers.”
However, GeM, which has over 27.51 lakh sellers on its platform and has processed nearly 76 lakh orders so far with transaction value worth Rs 1.38 lakh crore as per the current data from the portal, accounts for only 5 per cent of the total government procurement. Addressing the CII’s National Public Procurement Conclave in August this year, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had said that GeM makes up for only 5 per cent of the government purchases worth around Rs 20 lakh crore even as it has helped save 10 per cent in cost – around Rs 10,000 crore in cumulative procurement of Rs 1 lakh crore in five years.
“If this (GeM) was a startup, probably it would be a unicorn listed for billion dollars plus in the market. The potential is huge as even if you look at the very modest government procurement figures, GeM only accounts for five per cent of what is procured in government,” Subrahmanyam had said.