GeM to ensure greater transparency: Sitharaman
The Dollar Business Bureau
Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) has developed Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for the procurement of goods and services by government buyers. This platform would ensure transparency and revolutionise government procurement, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said after launching the GeM in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The DGS&D, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has developed the portal as a one stop online marketplace for several government departments and procurement agencies for their regular needs. The GeM would offer complete end-to-end procurement system for the purchase of required goods and services by the government buyers.
The GeM relieves government offices from time-taking tendering process and also reduces the administrative and transaction expenses. The suppliers and government buyers should register online using self-certification. The portal offers complete online procurement system including payment to the suppliers.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced the establishment of a technology driven platform by DGS&D during his Budget speech for FY 2017. In March 2016, the Cabinet Secretary had directed to develop GeM expeditiously as a pilot project with technical support from the National E-Governance Division (NEGD) under the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
The DGS&D and NEGD jointly developed the pilot phase of GeM in a very short span of time for few selected goods and services. The entire process flow designing has been made in-house to bring better transparency, speed and efficiency in public procurement. The GeM is linked with payment portals such as State Bank of India and Public Financial Management System (PFMS).
General Financial Rules have been amended to enable the government buyers to procure online. Any government buyer can directly purchase common use items in 26 categories from the portal up to Rs.50,000. For items above the cost of Rs.50,000, the buyer should procure through price comparison, bidding or reverse auction, the ministry said in a statement.
The Department of Expenditure has directed to all paying authorities to make payments on GeM procurement within a period of ten days. Acceptance or rejection has to be declared within ten days of receipt of goods. Else they will be deemed as accepted, the statement added.