Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal today called upon Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to expand its scope and include more participants in GeM portal for public procurement of both Products & Services. Interacting with the Officers of GeM and the department of Commerce, he said that it should not only evolve as a One-Stop shop for the requirement of all Central and State Government Offices as well as their PSUs but also provide opportunities to MSMEs to showcase their products. Lauding GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface, Shri Goyal said that the Hon’ble Prime Minister has a lot of expectation from the portal and it should come up to them. He said that the portal should be cautious against cartelization by the sellers.
Shri Goyal stressed that integration of GeM with the Railway e-procurement system towards the Unified Procurement System for buyers should be done expeditiously. He said that this will usher in a lot of savings for the public exchequer. The Minister said that this will also pave the way for big-ticket procurements by the Petroleum and Steel sectors also. The pilot bidding of Railway’s buyers through an integrated system is expected to commence by August end. About Rs 50,000 crore worth of annual procurement may be done by the Railways on GeM post the above integration.
There has been fast growth in scale and impact of GeM. Its order value reached Rs 38620 crore in FY 2020-21. There are over 52 thousand buyers and over 18.75 lakh sellers registered on the portal, dealing in 16,332 product catalogues and 187 service catalogues. GeM started as the national procurement portal for “goods” and ”services” exclusively, but in accordance with the vision laid down in the Budget Speech of FY 2020-21, GeM is moving towards becoming a “Unified Procurement System” for goods, services as well as “Works Contracts”.
GeM has taken several covid-19 related initiatives, which includes prioritization of products/brand approval for the categories. Extension of the delivery period by 30 days beyond the expiry of the original delivery period has been enabled. Bid duration has been reduced from 10 to 1 day, and the delivery period reduced from 15 to 2 days. The order value in Covid-19 categories from March’20 to May’21 has been Rs 7863 Crore, including Rs 268 crore worth of Oxygen concentrators.
Several new features and functionalities have been rolled out based on feedback from both Buyers and Sellers:
- Various new bidding formats including Custom Item Bidding, BoQ-based bidding, Capacity based Bidding
- Provision for contracts with Price variation Clause (PVC)
- Procurement of Installation, Commissioning, Training and AMC/CMC along with Milestone-based payments
- Demand Aggregation
- Introduction of Seller Representation, Technical Clarification and Challenge Rejection window
- Introduction of an Interest penalty on Buyers for delayed payments
- Revamped Seller Ratings System