Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a one-stop marketplace where common user goods and services can be procured. GeM is a dynamic, self-sustaining, and user-friendly portal for making procurement by Government officers. Read here to know more about the importance of GeM.
Public procurement forms a very important part of Government activity and reform in Public Procurement is one of the top priorities of the Government.
Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a very bold step of the Government to transform how procurement of goods and services is done by the Government Ministries and Departments, Public Sector Undertakings, and other apex autonomous bodies of the Central Government.
Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
Government e-Marketplace owes its genesis to the recommendations of two Groups of Secretaries made to the Prime Minister in January 2016.
- They recommended setting up of a dedicated e-market for different goods & services procured or sold by the Government/PSUs besides reforming the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D).
- Subsequently, the finance minister in the Budget speech for FY 2016-17, announced the setting up of a technology-driven platform to facilitate the procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
DGS&D with technical support from the National eGovernance Division (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has developed the GeM portal for the procurement of both Products & Services.
The portal was launched in 2016 by the Commerce & Industry Minister.
Procurement of GeM has been authorized by General Financial Rules by making necessary changes in government rules.
Presently more than 7400 products in about 150 product categories and hiring of transport services are available on the GeM POC portal.
GeM is a completely paperless, cashless, and system-driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common-use goods and services with minimal human interface.
Facilities under GeM
- Listing of products for individual, prescribed categories of Goods/ Services of common use
- Look, estimate, compare, and buy facilities on a dynamic pricing basis.
- Marketplace buying of the majority of common User Items.
- Buying Goods and Services online, as and when required.
- Single window system for aggregating demands and ordering
- Transparency and ease of buying
- Useful for low-value buying and also for bulk buying at a competitive price using Reverse Auction/ e-bidding.
- Continuous vendor rating system.
- User-friendly dashboard for buying and monitoring supplies and payments, and return policy
Advantages of Government e-Marketplace
- Rich listing of products for individual categories of Goods/Services
- Search, Compare, Select and Buy facility
- Buying Goods and Services online, as and when required.
- Transparent and easy of buying
- A continuous vendor rating system
- User-friendly dashboard for Buying and monitoring supplies and payments
- Easy Return policy
- Direct access to all Government departments.
- One-stop shop for marketing with minimal effort.
- One-stop shop for bids / reverse auctions on products/services
- New Product Suggestion facility available to Sellers
- Dynamic pricing: Price can be changed based on market conditions
- Seller-friendly dashboard for selling and monitoring supplies and payments
- Consistent and uniform purchase procedures
Significance of Government e-Marketplace
- GeM eliminates human interface in vendor registration, order placement, and payment processing, to a great extent.
- Being an open platform, GeM offers no entry barriers to bonafide suppliers who wish to do business with the Government.
- At every step, SMS and e-Mail notifications are sent to both buyers, his/her head of the organization, paying authorities as well as sellers.
- Online, cashless, and time-bound payment on GeM is facilitated through integration with PFMS and State Bank Multi Option System (SBMOPS); web-services integration is being extended to payment systems of Railways, Defence, major PSUs, and State Governments.
- Seamless processes and online time-bound payment, which is also mandated by the Department of Expenditure, have given confidence to the vendors and reduced their ‘administrative’ costs involved in pursuing officers for timely payment.
- Direct purchase on GeM can be done in a matter of minutes and the entire process is online, end-to-end integrated and with online tools for assessing price reasonability.
- For procurements of higher value, the bidding/Reverse Auction (RA) facility on GeM is among the most transparent and efficient, in comparison to e-procurement systems in vogue within the Government sector.
- GeM bidding/RA ensures competition, fair play, speed & efficiency and leads to proper price discovery.
- The reasonableness of the rates can also be confirmed through online comparison with market prices on leading e-Commerce portals.
Secure and safe
- GeM is a completely secure platform and all the documents on GeM are e-Signed at various stages by the buyers and sellers.
- The antecedents of the suppliers are verified online and automatically through MCA21, Aadhar, and PAN databases.
- In addition, SEBI-empaneled credit rating agencies are also being used for conducting third-party assessments of suppliers.
- This would further strengthen due diligence about the veracity of suppliers wanting to do business on GeM.
- For high-value bids/RA on GeM, an e-Bank Guarantee is also being introduced.
Potential to support Make in India
- On GeM, the filters for selecting goods that are Preferential Market Access (PMA) compliant and those manufactured by Small Scale Industries (SSI), enable the Government buyers to procure Make in India and SSI goods very easily.
- After the launch of GeM, it has been noticed that several leading computer manufacturers have placed PMA-compliant products on GeM
Savings to the government
- The transparency, efficiency, and ease of use of the GeM portal have resulted in a substantial reduction in prices on GeM, in comparison to the tender, Rate Contract, and direct purchase rates.
- The average prices on GeM are lower by at least 15-20%, and in some cases even up to 56%.
- GeM is also doing Demand Aggregation for items that are to be procured by various Central/State Government Departments.
- Demand Aggregation is expected to further drive the prices south, by way of standardization of specifications and economy of scale.
If pursued to its logical conclusion, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) would eventually emerge as the National Public Procurement Portal (NPPP), keeping in tune with the Global best practices; most of the OECD countries, like the USA, South Korea, the UK, Singapore, etc, have a single NPPP and as a result annual savings of billions of dollars are made in public procurement, besides giving a fillip to the domestic industry.
-Article written by Swathi Satish