The Uttar Pradesh government is targetting gross merchandise value (GMV) worth Rs 10,000 crore on GeM (Government e-Marketplace) platform during the current financial year (2019-20) .
The current GeM procurement will be a growth of 300 per cent as compared to about Rs 2,500 crore obtained in 2018-19. In fact, UP topped the list of Indian states having highest GeM transactions over the past two years, and has been feted by the Centre.
GeM is an end-to-end e-market, where common user goods and services can be procured by various government organisations, including ministries, departments, public sector undertakings (PSU), autonomous bodies etc.
UP chief secretary Rajendra Kumar Tiwari has already directed officials to ensure that the GeM target of Rs 10,000 crore was achieved and to take steps for proactively resolving the irritants faced by the government departments and traders.
Besides, the state government is planning to organise state, division and district level workshops for the different stakeholders to address the issues being faced by the GeM suppliers and the procuring government departments and agencies.
Tiwari also instructed officials to ensure that digital frauds did not occur in GeM transactions and that the registered buyers and sellers had their sundry concerns addressed on priority to boost the platform. He said the government expected that all the government departments procured for their requirements over the GeM portal.
The state government is pushing for the GeM to usher in greater transparency in public procurements and to curb corrupt practices in bulk transactions, apart from maintaining the quality of goods/hardware being procured.
Last year, the state government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State Bank of India (SBI) to facilitate a payment gateway for GeM based procurement and also manage the GeM pool account.
Although, the Yogi Adityanath government had announced to adopt GeM in August 2017, it was not until March 2018 that actual procurement could begin on the platform post registration of sellers and completion of necessary formalities.
In fact, the chief minister had issued general instructions for cent percent procurement through GeM, and opting for e-tendering only in cases where such goods and services were not available on this portal.
Concurrently, GeM procurement is expected to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in timely payment settlements without much human interference.
Meanwhile, public procurement worth Rs 40,000 crore had taken place through GeM, according to an agency report quoting union expenditure Secretary T V Somanathan on Monday. Stressing the focus of public procurement system was on economy, rigour, fairness and transparency, he noted the efficiency of procurement makes a difference to the fiscal discipline of government.
The Centre recently revised the general financial rules (GFR) and procurement manuals, and made advances in the use of technology in procurement.