The Government e Marketplace (GeM) portal run by the Department of Commerce has entered into a pact with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to make it easier for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women entrepreneurs, self-help groups, and various loan beneficiaries under special schemes of the government such as MUDRA and Stand-up India, to sell their products on the platform.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with SIDBI will enable promotion of special initiatives of GeM like ‘Womaniya’ and ‘Start-up Runway’, according to an official release.

GeM and SIDBI will take steps to ensure payments within a guaranteed time-frame to sellers, enhance working capital availability through bill discounting and check NPAs through control of end use, the release stated.

The GeM platform provides online, end-to-end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments and State Governments, Public Sector Units and affiliated bodies.

According to GeM CEO Talleen Kumar, partnerships with financial institutions like SIDBI were necessary to expand the online procurement platform’s outreach to MSMEs, start-ups and artisans, who can now sell their wares on an open, transparent and technology-driven platform. The idea is to empower such sellers through payments within a guaranteed time frame by auto-debiting the GeM Pool Account and providing working capital by giving the choice of bill discounting. This could be done by linking cost of working capital to the performance and rating of the seller, and by providing creditors better visibility on end use of working capital loans, the statement said.

The MoU will strengthen capacity building through GeM-specific training programmes of personnel from partner agencies, value-added services through networking, workshops, marketing events, awards and recognition of MSMEs including women entrepreneurs and self-help groups.