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Commerce Minister mulls setting up company to operate GeM

2012/8/11      view:

BY PTI | UPDATED: APR 04, 2017, 03.46 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Commerce Ministry is planning to set up a company to operate the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) -- a platform for procurement of goods and services by different ministries and departments. 

The move is aimed at making GeM an autonomous body, which will help in taking all the decisions including those related to finance at a faster pace, an official told PTI. 

As the GeM is a market-driven system, it needs to take real-time decisions like hiring of manpower. 

The ministry last year launched GeM for online purchase of goods and services by various central government ministries and departments. 

The move is aimed at bringing in more transparency and streamlining government procurement, estimated at Rs 10,000 crore a year. 

"Making it an autonomous body would help in taking decisions on real time basis. It would be a government-owned company," the official said, adding that a cabinet note will be circulated soon on the issue. 

Recently, the government made it mandatory for all the departments and ministries to source goods and services from the e-marketplace. 

Currently, over 9,000 products from 250 categories, including computers, stationery and several services, are registered by different vendors on the portal. 

The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) is working on increasing the number of services by including areas like cleaning, plumbing and digitisation of records. 

Further, with increasing use of the portal by central government departments, the official said several states have approached the DGS&D for adopting similar practices. 

E-commerce is a fast growing industry in the country. According to a study, the e-commerce market is likely to grow ten-fold in the next five years to USD 100 billion on the back of increasing penetration of Internet, smartphones and spread of digital network in rural areas.