New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (pictured) said that the Government's e-Marketplace (GeM) portal had reduced the cost of public procurement by 20-30%.
"I am glad that GeM is being recognised as the national e-procurement portal. Following the processes under GeM platform, around 20-30% reduction of price has been achieved as compared to what it was prior to GeM. Therefore, there is substantial tangible evidence that the processes followed at the portal is indeed bringing cost down," she said at the two-day National Consultative Workshop for buyers and sellers on GeM that commenced on Tuesday.
It was organised by GeM special purpose vehicle and Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) under Ministry of Commerce in association with National eGovernance Division under the Ministry of Electronics and IT.
"It is a great day towards achieving transparency in public procurement. As we sign as many as six MoUs today, I thank the respective state representatives coming forward and embracing GeM as the platform for government procurement in their states," she said.
Most importantly, the sellers do not have to run around from pillar to post to get their payment, which will be made within 10 days of the delivery of the products and services, Sitharaman said.
DGS&D Director General Binoy Kumar said: "When GeM was formed 11 months ago, it had only one product as a desktop computer and one service, that is taxi service. Today, we have grown to an extent that we have more than 5,000 government departments users, around 16,000 sellers and service providers and more than 50,000 products."
National e-Governance Division (NeGD) and GeM CEO S. Radha Chauhan said: "The Government eMarketplace is a national procurement portal, which realises the Digital India vision of contactless, cashless and paperless mode of governance.
"It should not only be seen as a procurement portal for the government buyers, but also as a tool for empowerment and entrepreneurship across the country at all levels, including the small and the micro units."