The Band Wagon of GeM is Here for MSMEs
By Faiz Askari
The Government has decided to create a one stop Government eMarketplace (GeM) to facilitate online procurement of Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSU’s. The ultimate aim of bringing this portal is to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurements of the goods and services required by various Government departments.
With such major development, various state governments are now coming forward and joining the band wagon of GeM. As of now around 17 state governments have joined GeM.
State Governments for GeM
Recently, Government of Himachal Pradesh has introduced to Government e-marketplace (GeM) that will provide purchase arm to allow government ‘babus’ to make routine office purchases from cups to spoons to laptops to plain papers.
Sources in the administration revealed that the portal aimed to support an interface to modern e-commerce sites which will further offer services also in addition to items, he added.
The Government of Himachal Pradesh vide notification dated July 19, 2017 has brought an amendment in Rule-94 and Rule-112 of the HP Financial Rules-2009 and incorporate Rule 94-A “Purchase of Goods through GeM.” It has made mandatory to purchase above Rs 50,000 upto Rs 30 lakhs should be made through GeM. Since its launch last year, the shopping portal offers 3100 products in 56 categories. It also has a cab hailing service. GeM has already done a business of over Rs 38 crore and as more and more products get added, the volumes are expected to match some of the private e-commerce biggies. The GeM currently has 1129 registered government buyers, including 469 heads of departments, 1247 sellers and 56 service providers.
With GeM state departments are tasked primarily with fixing Rate Contracts (RC) for common user items required by the various departments of the Administration through an online e-procurement portal. Presently, rate contracts are used by Central Government Ministries / Departments, PSUs and State Governments. Working as a one stop Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to facilitate on line procurement of common use items and services required by various Departments in clear, quick and transparent way.
The Centre’s non-Plan expenditure for this fiscal year is about Rs 15 lakh crore. That would mean a market of Rs 1.5 lakh crore at the low end of the estimate.
One stop online shop MSMEs – Government eMarketplace (GeM) will facilitate online procurement of Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
MSMEs for GeM
On the other side, in order to ensure maximum participation from the vendors and MSMEs, Government is also working on ensuring proper training of MSMEs which can be executed through Chartered Accountants.
CAs should guide their clients to take the advantage of GeM. While speaking at industry interaction program on GeM organized by Nagpur Branch of ICAI G.O. Bharti, General Manager of DIC, Nagpur added that this platform is not only easy to understand but also it is easy to operate as well. People should remember that apart from the general market where goods and services are provided, people should remember that Government is also a very big market.
More than 4 lac crore of purchases is being done by the Government and hence such portal will help is procurement of goods and services at proper rate with more transparency. The Government sector was not openly seen as a market till now because of so many challenges. Now with the introduction of this portal, this important sector will be at reach of all traders and service providers. With the introduction of this portal, not only goods will be procured but also payments within time will be ensured. This GeM portal is an end to end procurement platform of commonly used goods and services required by the Government Departments. The Sellers / Service Providers as well as buyer should get themselves registered at this portal for taking the advantage. This portal is a paperless as well as cashless portal to bring in more transparency as well as ease. The most important aspect is that there will be no human interaction in the entire process which is most important to bring in transparency. This portal will give a boost majorly to the MSME sector as a major platform will be available with a simple registration.