Technology for MSMEs: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other businesses to join the government’s online marketplace – Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to sell directly to the government bodies, organisations and departments. Addressing the annual plenary session of the industry body Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Modi said that “GeM has given the opportunity to earn profit by connecting with the government.” Businesses including MSMEs, large enterprises, individual units or self-help groups can directly with complete transparency, he added.
Earlier, unless you had a particular turnover size, production capacity and brand, you couldn’t think of selling goods directly to the government but now you can and your goods can reach even to the Prime Minister, Modi said. GeM marketplace was launched in August 2016 to bring transparency and efficiency in the public procurement process. The portal has over 3.87 lakh sellers out of which around 1 lakh are micro and small sellers. Overall, there are more than 17.76 lakh products listed on the portal that has a transaction value of Rs 54,184 crore.
Modi also urged ICC to encourage its members including manufacturers to join the GeM portal with the “product quality that even the government cannot say no to them.” If ICC members join GeM then even small businesses would be able to sell directly to the government, he said.
The government had in the past made efforts to attract more sellers on its marketplace. In December, GeM had launched GeM Samvaad a two-month national outreach programme to attract and onboard sellers. According to the government’s Public Procurement Policy for MSMEs, every central ministry, department, and PSU has been mandated to set an annual procurement target of minimum 25 per cent from micro and small enterprises of their total annual purchases.
In her Budget 2020 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed increasing the turnover of the GeM portal to Rs 3 lakh crore. The portal had also partnered with Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform operator Receivables Exchange of India Ltd (RXIL) to help government departments to finance their payments to MSME sellers of goods and services.