Trade, import and export for MSMEs: To enhance supplies, the government had urged MSMEs in manufacturing or supply of Covid-related equipment to register as a supplier on GeM.
Trade, import and export for MSMEs: Government’s public procurement portal — Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has facilitated the sale of Covid-19 related medical and auxiliary items worth Rs 431.1 crore in 45,645 orders between March 1 and April 22 through direct purchase from sellers, sellers having the lowest price of goods (L1), bidding and reverse auction, according to the data available on the GeM portal. The portal had created a dedicate page late last month for public procurement of medical and auxiliary equipment from small businesses and other sellers to fight Covid-19. To enhance supplies, the government had also urged MSMEs earlier in manufacturing or supply of such equipment to register as a supplier on GeM. The government listed 39 medical items such as ventilators, N95 masks, disposable thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, protective gowns etc and 61 auxiliary items such as soap, chairs, tables, bedsheets, computers, extension boards etc.
The sale for medical items stood at Rs 182.7 crores in 16,805 orders while auxiliary supplies worth Rs 248.4 crore were sold in 28,840 orders during the said period. The number of sellers for 28,875 medical items was 10,158 while for auxiliary 92,803 auxiliary items, the number of sellers was higher at 15,998. The data shared by GeM also stated that hand sanitizers or hand rub followed by air pollution masks, ICU ventilator, disposable surgical drapes, and surgical masks were the top five categories of medical items as per order value while desktop computers, waste containers or bin, computer printers, plastic moulded chair, and sanitary napkins were top auxiliary products as per order value sold on the GeM portal by sellers to the government.
The decision to engage MSMEs to the Covid-related manufacture and supply of goods came after the reported shortage of masks, ventilators in India even as the number of cases continues to increase. The government had also directed 18 technology centres for MSMEs in the country, earlier known as tool rooms or technology development centres, to manufacture masks, sanitizers, ventilators etc., the MSME ministry had tweeted earlier this month. These tool rooms are based in Agra, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Mumbai, Kolkata etc.