The Indian government is working to streamline efficiency and clamp down on corruption by making it mandatory for all departments to source goods and services from within the country via its own e-market store. The move will bring transparency to purchasing and is expected to save around $1.5 billion a year.
Results & Impact
Public sector workers can now buy 9,000 products from 250 categories including computers and stationery from government-approved vendors. The government hopes to save $1.5 billion a year
Government of India and hundreds of India based vendors
The platform displays products that have come from government-approved vendors. To clamp down on dodgy deals, it also compares prices with Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. The Government eMarketplace (GeM) gives preference to companies that produce their goods in India. GeM users need to register their mobile numbers and biometric IDs to use the online store. The government has pledged to pay suppliers within 10 days from the date of purchase
Cost & Value
The portal cost $150,000 to build
Running since 2016
In an effort to clamp down on corruption and bring transparency to the Indian government, the world’s largest democracy has made it mandatory for all departments and ministries to source goods and services from its e-market shop. The move is hoped to save around $1.5 billion a year.
The Commerce Ministry last year launched the Government eMarketplace (GeM) for the online purchase of goods and services by government ministries and other public sector departments. Officials and public sector workers are now required to procure items and services from GeM alone.
Around 9,000 products from 250 categories including computers, stationery and services are registered by different government-approved vendors on the portal. Other services like the digitising of records, cleaning and plumbing will also be added to GeM as it expands. The market place will not include defence equipment.
In a further bid for transparency, GeM users will need to register their mobile numbers and biometric IDs before using the service. The government has also pledged to pay suppliers within 10 days from the date of purchase.
GeM has been launched as a mechanism whereby the central government provides special preferences to those companies who produce their goods in India. Future additions to GeM could also include mobile phones, computers, stationery, medicines, and steel or aluminium for government infrastructure projects.
India says the scheme is compliant with the norms of World Trade Organization rules and will incentivise companies to manufacture their goods in India, given the scale of government purchases. Under WTO rules, if government is buying for itself and not for commercial purpose, then it may provide preference to domestic products.
GeM even extends to government employees who require transport as part of their jobs. They can now use the portal to order car services for work. And when a public sector worker is placing an order, the product can be compared both with similar models, as well as prices from popular sites such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. Vendors on the platform also know government departments cannot order products unless they have funding available to them.
The idea to set up the e-marketplace came from suggestions made by a panel convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his bid to boost economic growth in India. The portal cost around $150,000 to build.
(Picture: Flickr/Eric Parker)