Sellers on GEM mandated to mention ‘country of origin’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 23, 2020

Public procurements are often riddled with large-scale corruption and inefficiency. To bring in transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement, which accounts for 20 per cent of the country’s GDP, the Commerce Ministry launched the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) in 2017.

Move aimed at promoting mission

In a bid to promote products made in India, the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the online procurement platform for government bodies, has made it mandatory for sellers to mention the ‘country of origin’ while registering all new products.

“GeM has taken this significant step to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, an official release said. GeM has been set up as a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Sellers, who had already uploaded their products before the introduction of this new feature on GeM, are being reminded regularly to update the ‘country of origin’, with a warning that their products shall be removed if they fail to update the same.

The move, which comes against the backdrop of the ongoing border tussle with China, is also being seen by some as an option given to buyers to boycott products made in the neighbouring country, a call for which has come from various quarters, including a Union Minister.

GeM has also enabled a provision for indication of the percentage of local content in products. With this new feature, now, the ‘country of origin’ as well as the local content percentage is visible in the marketplace for all items, the statement said.

‘Make in India’ filter

A ‘Make in India’ filter has also been enabled on the portal. “Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50 per cent local content criteria,” it said.

Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which had earlier demanded that it should be mandatory for e-commerce portals to mention country of origin against each product to allow consumers to avoid Chinese products, welcomed the move.

“Now, it is the time for the e-commerce portals to include this provision in their respective portals to let the customers know as to which country’s product they are buying. Since other e-commerce portals are working under Business to Consumers (B2C) concept, this provision is more required in such e-commerce portals so that the consumers are not deceived,” said Praveen Khandelwal of CAIT.

Published on June 23, 2020

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