Plans are afoot to open up the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) operated by the Centre to individual customers which may happen as soon as next year, Tribune reports.
“Having received good response from the government departments, we are working on modalities to permit the government contractors and private bulk buyers to use the platform for buying goods and services in the next six months. Further, by next year, we will allow individual customers and businesses to use the platform to access goods and services,” said S Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary and Additional CEO, Government e-Marketplace which is under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The opening up of the marketplace to individuals will allow them to buy commodities from computers to cars at as much as 25 per cent lower prices. As of now, only government departments can meet their procurement needs from the portal and have been saving between 20-25 per cent on their purchases.
“Currently, cars purchased by the government departments through this platform are cheaper than CSD as we have MoUs with manufacturers,” Kumar added.
The portal had been established by the ministry in 2016 and has since seen transactions worth Rs 36,000 crore. Both goods and services can be procured from the portal which aimed to make government procurement transparent.