Govt eMarketplace All Set To Change The Way Govt. Procures Products For Themselves

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During 2012-13, Central Govt. spent total of Rs 14.97 lakh crore on various expenditures pertaining to agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, health, defense etc. Out of this, majority of procurement happened on a random basis: Govt. takes out a tender or via reference a supplier is chosen.

What if all such expenditures done by Central and State Governments happen via massive marketplace, and the purchase and sell happen in a transparent, and neutral way?

Indian Govt. has approved creation of such an e-marketplace, and very soon, all Government purchases related with any industry or sector can be accomplished using this platform. Named as ‘Government e-Marketplace’, this platform would primarily serve as a hub wherein Central, State and various Departments under Govt. of India can purchase and sell commonly used goods and services.

The best part about Digital India campaign is the limitless possibilities which Internet & Technology has opened up for the Govt., and this is a classic example of one such possibility; and its perfect execution.

Earlier, Indian Govt. had surprised everyone when they decided to take on Alibaba by launching world’s first global ecommerce hub for B2B business, and India Post had been roped in to deliver the products all over the world. Similarly, a National Agriculture Market, a massive marketplace to buy/sell agricultural products is another noteworthy initiative, based on the marketplace model. We have already described how this can be a game changer for Indian farmers.

How Will It Work?

The Department of Expenditure has facilitated this new initiative, so that the process of buying and selling commonly used goods becomes easier, and fast.

Directorate General Supply and Disposal (DGS&D) had created a special request for creating such an online marketplace, which would be one-stop destination for procuring goods and services for their own usage. Hence, Department of Expenditure created a new provision under the General Financial Rules (GFR), which has been now approved by the Commerce Department

This online marketplace has been officially called Government e-Marketplace (GeM).

In a statement, Department of Expenditure said, “The DGS&D will host an online Government e-Marketplace for common use goods and services. The GeM would be dynamic, self-sustaining and user-friendly. DGS&D will ensure adequate publicity, including periodic advertisements in newspapers of the GeM and the items to be procured through GeM, for prospective suppliers,”

Provision of online bidding and reverse bidding would be incorporated in this platform.

Procedure For Procurement of Goods/Services

As per reports coming in, purchases upto Rs 50,000 can be made using this platform, and by selecting any Govt. approved supplier for the same. Factors such as quality, specifications and delivery period shall be mentioned before-hand.

However, for purchases above Rs 50,000, Govt. will follow the criterion of choosing that supplier who quote is the minimum and meets all requirements mentioned above.

It would be interesting to observe as to how much percentage of Govt. spending is accomplished on this new platform, and whether it will be able to remove corruption from the system.

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