The government’s online public procurement platform, Government e Marketplace (GeM), has doubled its Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to ₹4-lakh crore in fiscal year 2023-24, compared with the previous fiscal and a “small pilot” is now being planned to see if the portal can be opened for all consumers, senior officials have said.

“We are mulling over the possibility of opening the GeM portal for consumers at large. That is a different ecosystem all together. We are preparing for that as we should be prepared for this kind of an eventuality if the government so desires (to open the portal for consumers). And if feasible, we will do a small pilot in this area this coming year if the approvals are in place,” said GeM CEO P K Singh at a media briefing on Friday.

GeM has over 1.5 lakh government buyers and  21 lakh sellers and service providers. It has integrated 89,421 panchayats and over 760 co-operatives within its procurement ecosystem, according to the government.

At present, all Central government and State government ministries/ departments. including its attached/ subordinate offices, Central and State autonomous bodies, Central and State Public Sector Units and local bodies etc, are allowed to buy through this portal.

Share of services

Doubling of GeM procurement to ₹4-lakh crore has been also possible because of a 205 per cent surge in procurement of services in FY24, Singh said. Nearly 50 per cent of the total GMV valued at ₹4-lakh crore can be attributed to procurement of services. 

The portal provides a wide variety of products ranging from eggs and office stationery to vehicles and defence equipment.

“Assembly of BrahMos missile is being done through GeM as a service contract. In defence, right from supplying eggs up to the missile parts is being done through the portal,” Singh said.

A vast variety of services, including transportation, hiring of helicopter services, logistics, waste management, and webcasting are available on the portal.

GeM’s success has caught the attention of some countries in Africa, South East Asia and India’s neighbourhood and the MEA’s inputs may be sought to take the matter forward, Singh said.

“We can either provide consultancy services and show them our model or we can set up a similar platform for them…We are very encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest shown,” Singh said.

Singh said that there were plans of developing GeM as a unified procurement portal of the country, on the lines of ones in Singapore or Korea, by also adding works contract on the portal.

“Currently, only goods and services are allowed on the platform and we want to include works contract also. If it comes, it will be a big hit,” he said.

He also highlighted a dedicated page for election-related goods and services, which includes items like stamp pads, stationary, twine threads and services like catering and webcasting services, started on the portal two years ago. States are slowly getting to know of the dedicated page and some of them like Uttar Pradesh have procured substantially during their elections, Singh said.