Cooperatives on Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
GeM is a government initiative that was launched on August 9, 2016, by the ministry of commerce and industry, Government of India. GeM is a one-stop self-sustained, user-centric, and dynamic online portal for procurement of common goods and services by state and central government, departments, organizations, and Public sector undertakings.
Cooperatives of the Government e-Marketplace:
As the International Labour Organization defines a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprises. India is an agricultural country and developed the world’s biggest cooperative movement. India’s economic growth is consist of Cooperative based development.
- Our constitution under Directive principles (Art 43B) talks about a cooperative society. It is a fundamental right under Article 19 to form cooperatives.
- Cooperatives in the case of GeM takes transaction fee to cover the costs. The list of validated cooperatives onboarded on the GeM will be decided by the Ministry of cooperation in consultation with GeM SPV (Special purpose vehicle).
- The ministry of cooperation will issue advisories to encourage cooperatives of the country to make use of the platform. They will help with technical infrastructure and will ensure timely payments and protects the interest of sellers.
Objectives of the Government e-Marketplace:
- Procurement by Ministry and central public sector enterprises is mandatory.
- GeM provides the tools of e-bidding and reverses e-auction to enhance the value of money.
- Recent development regarding GeM take place in June 2022, when the Union cabinet chaired by Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi approved broadening the mandate of the government e-marketplace to allow procurement by cooperatives as buyers on the portal.
- Mention the country of origin while registering new products to meet the need of 50% local content criteria.
- GeM has currently more than 30 lakh products and 10 lakh crores of the transaction have happened.
Development of Government e-Marketplace Portal:
GeM portal was developed by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal with technology-related help from the National e-governance Division which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information technology. It was for the procurement of both products and services.
- Currently Directorate General of supplies and disposal hosts the Government e-marketplace.
- The nodal ministry responsible for this is the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Importance of Government e-Marketplace Portal:
- Major push to Aatmanirbhar Bharat– India is targeting self-reliance in every field and GeM is promoting it.
- Transparent and cost-effective procurement- It is one stop portal that helps governments and organizations procure products easily. Especially fighting during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Local sellers- scheme like Make in India and MSME purchase policies have benefited local sellers.
- Enhance ease of doing business for cooperatives and increase in buyer base to GeM registered sellers.
- It increases the credibility of the cooperatives by benefitting 27 crore members associated with 8.5 lakh cooperatives.
- It will provide cooperatives with high prices due to an increase in competition.
Advantages of Government e-Marketplace for Buyers:
- The listing of products is rich which provides choices for individual goods and services.
- comparing, searching, and buying facilities is a one-stop solution.
- Buying goods and services during need.
- The rating system gives better information on products.
- User-friendly return policy and product tracking system.
Advantages of Government e-Marketplace for Sellers:
- Government departments are easily accessible.
- one-stop shop for bids, reverse auctions, and marketing with minimal effort.
- Pricing can be adjusted according to market conditions.
- User-friendly dashboard for controlling supply and demand.
- An eye on user preferences and requirements so that they keep an eye on manufacturing and procurement.
Limitations of the Government e-Marketplace Portal:
- Cooperatives couldn’t register as buyers.
- Private players cannot use this portal for buying.
- Multiple portals like the defense procurement portal, and the Indian railway’s e-procurement portal limits the role of GeM as a national procurement portal.
- It challenges General Financial Rule 2017 which mandates about goods and services available on the portal should be procured on the portal.
- Not available in vernacular language.
The step government took is important for the digitalization country is aiming towards. But the high urban-rural digital divide and low literacy come in between. People get confused over multiple portals so the focus should be on the single portal and solving other e-governance problems. Economic penalty in case of misgovernance. choices of language should be on the portal for solving the language barrier. GeM portal while helping find buyers and sellers easily reduces the losses due to the rotting of perishable goods.
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