Govt e-marketplace set to be mandatory for all departments

The government is set to make it compulsory for every department to acquire merchandise and enterprises through its Amazon like e-marketplace, which will likewise introduce fondness for household players.

Compulsory use of GeM (the administration e-commercial center) could be set up in a few weeks and is part of the alterations to the General Financial Rules (GFR) being worked out by the ministry of commerce and industry, sources told TOI. The finance ministry is reconsidering the GFR that covers all government spending, including acquisition.

While there are no firm approximates of government purchases, acquisition of goods and services are assessed at around 10% of spending, which will add up to around Rs. 2 lakh crore. Going by current trends, the savings could be Rs 20,000 crore or so on.

Since its launch in August, purchases done through GeM have added up to Rs 150 crore, with savings of 10-20% — and at times even up to 56%.

" The fall in costs has been more noticeable through the use of bid and reverse auction.If we can add up the value of purchases, We can get good deals," said an officer, aiming at how the yearly acquisition of A4 paper could be done for all departments through the portal."If the order is larger, there will be more sellers willing to participate,"" the officer appended.In his deliver to Parliament, President Pranab Mukherjee had referred to GeM as the latest tool to usher in transparency and it had also found a statement in the Budget.

Sources said GeM will block purchase of, say, PCs that don't comply with Preference for Domestically Manufactured Electronic Goods (PMA) standards. The guidelines prescribe PCs, laptops, tablets and other electronic items ought to have up to 45% domestic value expansion over a five year period.

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