GeM portal facilitates public purchases of Rs 1.1 lakh crore
Goods and services worth Rs 1.11 lakh crore have been purchased through the public procurement portal GeM since its inception in August 2016, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said on Wednesday, highlighting its growing popularity.
The Government e-Market (GeM) portal is designed to facilitate online purchases of goods and services by ministries / departments and entities belonging to central and state governments to better ensure transparency of the public procurement system.
GeM has so far facilitated 67.27 lakh orders for 52,275 government buyers. It is important to note that up to 6.95 lakh of its registered sellers and service providers totaling 18.85 lakh are MSMEs, accounting for 56% of the overall order value.
The growth in sales through the portal has been “exponential,” Wadhawan said. The value of the order reached Rs 38,000 crore in fiscal year 21, against nearly Rs 23,000 crore the previous year. The value will increase, as the Center and the States together buy goods and services with an estimated value of 5-7 lakh crore each year.
In the first two months of this fiscal year, sales reached Rs 14,000 crore, three and a half times the value recorded a year earlier, GeM chief executive PK Singh said. Of course, a national Covid-induced lockdown was in effect in April and May of last year. Still, the value of orders so far this year is well above the long-term trend. The strong growth also reflects the government’s renewed impetus for the “vocal for local” initiative.
GeM also provides a platform dedicated to start-ups to list their innovative products in 10 globally recognized sub-sectors. Currently, 9,980 start-ups are registered with GeM, and 87 of them have listed their innovative products on Startup Runway.
The portal is also gradually evolving towards the government’s vision of a unified procurement system. This could bring all public procurement together into a single, cohesive platform, leading to economies of scale and more efficient pricing.
GeM was also the first e-commerce portal in the country to require sellers to display the “country of origin” of all products. This came as there were growing fears that several counterfeit products, especially from countries like China, were making their way onto e-commerce platforms here. The mention of “country of origin” and local content in products is intended to enable buyers to make informed decisions.