E-commerce has been a fascinating topic in recent years. Whenever you heard about e-commerce, the first few names that came up to the mind will be Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, JioMart, etc. But have you heard about GeM or the “Government e-Marke” portal?
Yes! there is an e-commerce portal owned by the Indian government itself. But can you but somthing from this GeM portal? Is this for the usual public service or reserved for a few special customers? Let’s talk about this in detail.
What’s the need of GeM, a govt owned portal?
GeM portal is a one-stop destination or marketplace originally hosted by DGS&D, where one can purchase common goods and services. The government claims that the GeM portal is a user-friendly portal for purchase by government officials.
Have you ever thought, how many government offices are there? If you count the total central government departments/offices, state govt departmental offices, PSUs, etc, the number become so huge. Now think about how much amount of paper, pen, files, computer, photostat machines, and lots of other stuff being used by these offices regularly. Just think, from where and how these offices purchase all this stuff?
The cost of these items would be thousands of crore, and therefore, there are large possibilities of corruption in this procurement process. However, to tackle this and make this Procurement Process more transparent, the govt. decides to switch into online mode.
From there, the thought of GeM emerges, and the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal was launched on 09 August 2016 by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Through this e-market, the departments start purchasing all the goods and services.
And after witnessing the initial success, the government also introduced GeM 3.0, a better and fast version of this e-marketplace.
Importance of GeM Portal;
It has been made mandatory for all central departments to make purchases through the GeM.
The portal currently has 16,470 buyers, 44,820 vendors, and 4,74,025 products along with some services.
The government departments get the convenience of purchasing without tender.
Is government e-marketplace promoting Make in India?
The thought is very easy to understand. If you owned an e-commerce portal, you can decide your preference regarding sellers. The same with this, as while choosing sellers for goods, this government e-marketplace gives preferences to Small Scale Industries (SSI). The motto behind giving this priority is to strengthen the Make In India campaign in the country.
Government appeals, Startups should have to participate
Recently the Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal appealed to the country’s startups and asked them to register on the government e-marketplace (GeM). Through this, those startups will get an open and transparent platform to offer their services and products directly to PSUs or government offices.
According to the government’s claims, 4,000 startups had been already registered in this portal so far. As per a few reports, the business in this e-marketplace has reached several lakh crores. With this portal, small startups will also be able to offer their services to government institutions, companies, state government departments, hospitals, schools, and colleges.