New Delhi, Seeking to bring in more transparency and affordability in the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal has cautioned against cartelisation and collusion in GeM and asked officials to be alert against malpractices and reduce as well as cap transaction charges so that more traders are attracted to the portal. In a review of the functioning of GeM on Wednesday, the Minister sought regular audit of operations so as to ensure that all technical and financial aspects of GeM stay strong all the time.
The GeM is a 100 % Government owned company for procurement of goods and services by Central and state government organizations. Since its launch on August 9, 2016 the order value of GEM has grown more than 90 times – from Rs 422 crores in FY 2016-17 to over Rs 38,620 crores last fiscal with MSMEs constituting 56.7% share of the total order value. More than 55,400 buyers and 30,66,400 sellers have on boarded the GEM. The portal now provides trade in 16,456 products and 206 Service categories.
Keen to make GEM more user and commerce friendly so that ease of doing business can be further promoted, the Minister called for making GEM more affordable by reducing and capping the transaction charges so that more traders are attracted to the GEM portal. Goyal also asked the GEM team to use AI and further simplify the system. As the volume of operations grow, AI would be needed to bring most appropriate buyers and sellers together for transactions. Use of AI would act as a watch dog against business malpractices like collusion and cartelisation which often sneak in online business platforms.
The pilot project to integrate GeM with the Indian Railways E-Procurement System (IREPS) will be launched next month while the process of integrating GeM with India Post and Ministry of Panchayati Raj is in progress. The Minister asked GeM authorities to wrap up the pending audit by the Directorate of Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification.