New Delhi: The government e-marketplace (GeM) platform which was in a pilot phase for the last one year, will be formally launched in the next six months. The platform, which has already done transactions worth Rs1,000 crore, will be launched with more categories of products and services, an enhanced logistics model, better grading system and integration of artificial intelligence and analytics as added features, a senior official from GeM said.

GeM is an end-to-end procurement system developed by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) for the purchase of goods and services of common use by government buyers. The pilot phase was launched on 9 August last year to ensure greater transparency and transform government procurement.

“In the next six months, around 82 new services such as cloud services, unskilled and skilled manpower service, child care services, facility management, IT services and security related services will be added to the platform. As of now, only 4 services are listed on the platform which will scale up to 20 next month," said the government official who asked not to be identified.

There is no e-commerce platform as of now which provides the kind of services that the government demands. These services, that are generally procured through agencies, are being brought on this platform, said the official.

As of now, there are 850 product categories listed and on an average 10 broad categories are added every day, added the official.

The top product categories on the platform are computers, writing and printing paper, projectors and supplies, office machines and their supplies and accessories, and computer printers, according to a statement from GeM.

“The estimated procurement that government does is around Rs2 lakh crore for general goods and services and GeM has projected a savings of about 25%. The cost savings is due to the transparency, competitive setup for sellers and the choice that buyers get."

In the last one year, around 41,000 orders worth Rs973 crore have been placed on the platform.

The scaled-up version of the platform will comprise a better grading system of vendors and their products as well as the buyers, enhancement of quality assurance i.e. ensuring what has been shown and sold at the time of bid is what is being delivered at the time of receipt. “We are also going to introduce real time tracking of products from the time it leaves the warehouse till the delivery," said the official.

We may in a phased manner, around 10 months’ from now, include logistics as a part of the services available on GeM. As of now, logistics is looked after by the sellers. Analytics is another area we are working on to bring enhanced features to every user. They will get to know about the price trends and projections of products and services listed and can accordingly make buying choices, the official added.

Earlier this month, GeM had signed MoU with the states of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh to standardize the financial procurement rules of different states.

In the last one year, the ministry of human resource development, ministry of home affairs, ministry of communications, ministry of defence and ministry of finance have been the top five ministries with total order values of Rs159 crore, Rs122 crore, Rs77 crore, Rs50 crore and Rs34 crore, respectively, according to statement from GeM.

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