Aiming to ensure greater transparency and revolutionise government procurement, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday launched the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), an official statement said.
The directorate general of supplies and disposals (DGS&D) has developed the GeM, a completely end to end procurement system for purchase of goods and services of common use by government buyers.
GeM has been set up on the basis of recommendations of two groups of secretaries to reform DGS&D by creating a one-stop online marketplace for government buyers for their routine requirements.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech 2016-17 announced the establishment of a technology driven platform by DGS&D.
The pilot phase of the GeM has been developed jointly for selective goods and services. The entire process flow designing has been done in house in order to bring greater transparency, speed and efficiency in public procurement, the statement said.
"It is completely an end to end online procurement system including payment to suppliers. GeM relieves public offices from tedious and time consuming tendering process and thus cuts down on administrative and transaction costs," it added.
It will help in online registration of suppliers and government buyers using self certification and authentication through Aadhar, PAN, MCA21 and Biometric Attendance System.
It will also facilitate seamless process flow and standardised specifications with complete audit trail.
The significant feature is linking with payment portals like State Bank of India (SBI) and Public Financial Management System (PFMS), which makes the entire process online.\
"All transactions in GeM are completely secure. At every stage of processing, there are alerts through emails and SMS which make the system very responsive," the statement said.
In order to enable government buyers to procure on GeM, 'general financial rules' (GFR) of the government has been amended by addition of Rule 141A. Under the amended rules, a government buyer can make purchases of up to Rs50,000, beyond which purchases have to be made through price comparison, bidding or reverse auction.
Th department of expenditure has also issued directive to all paying authorities to make payments on GeM procurement within a maximum of 10 days. Acceptance or rejection of goods has to be within 10 days of receipt or will be deemed accepted.
To begin with, common use items in 26 categories like computers, office equipment, stationery, etc have, been placed on the GeM portal. Apart from goods, the notable feature of GeM is providing facility for engaging taxi services with multiple options of hiring like spot, daily use, monthly or annually and also leasing.
A call centre / helpdesk (0120-6619563) for GeM has also been set up to help both buyers and sellers in conducting their transactions on GeM, it added.
Highlights of GeM:
- Completely end-to-end online procurement system, including payment to suppliers;
- GeM relieves public offices from tedious and time consuming tendering process thereby cutting down on administrative and transaction costs;
- Online registration of suppliers and government buyers using self certification and authentication through Aadhar, PAN, MCA21, Biometric Attendance System (BAS) etc;
- Seamless process flow and standardised specifications with complete audit trail. Demand aggregation is made possible, which will make prices very competitive;
- All transactions in GeM are completely secure. At every stage of processing, there are alerts through emails and SMS which make the system very responsive;
A call centre / helpdesk for GeM has been set up. This will help both buyers and sellers in conducting their transactions on GeM.
DGS&D is conducting training of government buyers as well as sellers on GeM.
With the launch of Government e-Marketplace, a new era of public procurement will be ushered in and will be a game changer, according to the commerce ministry.