Minister for Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal on Wednesday asked officials to stay alert about any potential cartelisation and collusion in Government e-Marketplace (GEM). He asked officials to make the marketplace more affordable and further increase the volume of business. The commerce minister was reviewing the functioning of the Government e-marketplace on Wednesday.
He further asked officials to enable more transparency in the system. The minister suggested that operations on the platform should be audited regularly so as to ensure that technical and financial aspects of the GeM are secure at all times. The platforms should become more user and commerce friendly in order to further scale up the ease of doing business, the minister stated. He directed officials to significantly reduce and cap the transaction charges to enable greater trader footfall on the portal.
The commerce and industries' minister suggested the use of artificial intelligence to further simplify the system. "He said that as the volume of operations grow, AI would be needed to bring most appropriate buyers and sellers together for transactions. Use of AI would also act as a watchdog against business malpractices like collusion and cartelisation which often sneak in online business platforms," the ministry's statement informed.
As per the ministry's statement, the pilot project to integrate GeM with the Indian Railways E-Procurement Systems (IREPS) would be launched by the next month. Additionally, the process for interesting GeM with the Indian Post and Ministry of Panchayati Raj is in progress.
The GeM is an entirely government-owned company e-market dedicated for procuring different goods and services by government organisations, departments and public sector undertakings (PSU).
The order value on GeM has grown more than ninety times since its launch on August 9, 2016. Its order value during the last financial year stood at Rs 38, 620 crore compared to Rs 422 crore in the fiscal year 2016-17. MSMEs constituted 56.7 per cent of the total order value in the previous financial year. As per the ministry, more than 55,400 buyers and approx 30.7 lakh sellers have onboarded the portal which deals in 16,456 products and 206 service categories.