Govt’s e-marketplace enables ‘Make in India’ filter; mandates naming country of origin

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 23, 2020

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal has mandated for sellers to provide the name of the country of origin while registering any new product on the online procurement portal, as per media reports.

Along the lines of the move, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is also looking to extend the order to private e-commerce platforms as well, a senior government official told The Indian Express.

Additionally, for buyers, the GeM portal has enabled a ‘Make in India’ filter to allow buyers to choose products that meet the minimum 50 per cent local content criteria.

This comes after Prime Narendra Modi pushed for the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliantIndia) campaign to promote products and services manufactured within India.

Recently, Indians enraged over border disputes along the LAC (Line of Actual Control), called for boycotting Chinese products.

A series of decisions have been made by the Centre to limit the import and promote the production within Indian territory. These include the decision made by the telecom department of India to rule out the usage of Chinese materials for the 4-G upgrade of the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), NDTV reported.

The report quoted the source in the government who told the ministry had decided to "firmly tell BSNL" not to use Chinese equipment in view of security issues. Sources said the department has also decided to rework the tender in this regard.

According to the public procurement norms, which were amended by the government earlier this month, the suppliers are categorized into various classes depending on the level of local content in their goods.

The GeM portal will now allow buyers to reserve any bid for Class I local suppliers, which have more than 50 per cent local content. As per the rules, for bids below Rs 200 crore, only Class I and Class II — those with more than 20 per cent local content — are eligible to bid.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said it has approached Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal asking for the ‘country of origin’ tag to be mandated for other e-commerce platforms as well.

“The CAIT raised this demand on 15th June to Commerce Minister. in the wake of the fact that mostly all e-commerce companies are selling Chinese goods in large percentages on their portals and in absence of Country of Origin provision, the customers are unaware about the origin of the Country which certainly influences the choice of the consumers,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said as quoted in the Indian Express report.

Published on June 23, 2020

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