Public procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM) will soon launch carbon neutral services to estimate the carbon footprint of various central government ministries and departments and help them work towards carbon neutrality. 

“Some estimates say 20-30 per cent of Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are coming from overall public procurements including works procurement. Although we are not into works procurement as of now, we will bring carbon neutral services for various ministries and departments,” Prashant Kumar Singh, CEO, Government’s e-Marketplace (GeM), told BusinessLine.  

Once launched, government departments and ministries can hire an agency which will do the estimate of the CO2 emissions of each of the departments and also suggest a mitigation plan with a timeline to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Launched in 2016, the GeM portal is for online purchase of goods and services by all central government ministries and departments, Central public sector undertakings (PSUs) and state governments. 

The platform has over 50 lakh sellers & service providers, 62,000 plus buyer organisations, more than 10,000 product and 290 service categories. The platform recorded a gross merchandise value (GMV) of ₹1.06 lakh crore from goods and services in FY22. 

In FY23, it aims to double the turnover from services to ₹70,000 crore in FY23.

“We started the services category only in 2019. In the last 2 years, we have added every kind of service requirement that a government department requires. Last year, we did ₹23,000 crore and this year we are planning to do ₹70,000 crore from services alone,” Singh said.

Started off with basic services such as manpower hiring and vehicle hiring, GeM today offers about 1.5-lakh service offerings under 300 categories ranging from drone hiring to aircraft hiring to hi-tech services such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) etc. 

Forward auction

In October last year, GeM launched ‘forward auction’ service aimed at removing the clutters in government departments by auctioning disposable furniture, refrigerators, computers, air conditioners. In just 3-4 months, GeM saw ₹50 crore of business through this service. 

“Then, we expanded the auction to government lands. Any government department with disposable land can use the portal to conduct pan-India auctions,” Singh said. 

He noted that BEML Ltd auctioned 20,000-40,000 sq ft of land and got a good price for that. “Similarly, liquor contracts by States and many other contracts, which are done in an opaque manner, can be brought under this auction,” Singh said. 

Works procurement

According to rough estimates, public procurement accounts for 15-20 per cent of the country’s GDP of which ‘works procurement’ such as contractual purchases, roads & highway procurements accounts for a major chunk followed by goods and services. 

Singh said although it is currently not done through the platform, works procurement and actual implementation of contracts can be done through the portal at some stage.