PMO rejects proposal to open up sourcing, for private players, from GeM portal

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2020 Published on March 29, 2020

Representative image   -  Bet_Noire

Online platform creates more categories for medical supplies in fight against Covid-19, reduces bid cycle time

The Prime Minister’s Office has rejected the Commerce & Industry Ministry’s proposal to allow private players to source goods and services through the Government e-Market (GeM) portal. The online platform will continue to be available exclusively to government departments and public sector units for purchases, a government official has said.

“A detailed presentation of GeM’s growth plans was given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior PMO officials in a meeting a few weeks back, which was largely approved. However, the idea of allowing private players to use the platform to do their sourcing put forward by the Commerce & Industry Ministry officials did not find favour with the PM and his team,” the official familiar with the details of the meeting told BusinessLine.

Launched in 2016 by the Commerce & Industry Ministry, the GeM platform provides online, end-to-end solutions for procurement of commonly used goods and services (over 5,000 categories) for all Central government departments and State governments, public sector units and affiliated bodies. There are over 3.5 lakh sellers on the platform and actual purchase on GeM so far in 2019-20 is about ₹23,000 crore

Nine additional categories

“The GeM team had worked for several months on the possibility of opening up the platform to the private sector and see if it could become one of the top e-retail platforms in the country for all,” the official said. But the idea of allowing private players to source on GeM has been given up as its primary purpose was to help the government in its procurement drive and ensure transparency, he added.

GeM is also doing its bit to meet the challenges of fighting the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the official said. Nine additional categories have been created for medical supplies in addition to the 32 existing ones on the platform. These include sample collection kit, reusable rubber gloves, disposable thermometers and thermal scanners, as per an official note. All Original Equipment Manufacturers, resellers and suppliers for the above newly created categories are being identified for onboarding.

To ensure fast supply of essential equipment, the bid cycle for Covid-19-related categories has been reduced to three days from the existing 10 days. “Buyers would also be able to reduce the delivery period for such items to two days considering the time-critical nature of the items.” the note said.

Published on March 29, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.