Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The number of MSME sellers on the government’s business-to-business marketplace Government eMarketplace (GeM) has grown 5.2X in the past 12 months amid increased adoption of the online channel for buying and selling goods and services due to the Covid pandemic. According to the GeM’s latest data, the marketplace currently has 21.29 lakh sellers and service providers. This was up from 4.04 lakh as of July 5, 2021. The share of micro and small sellers also increased from around 1 lakh to a little over 7 lakh during the said period with a 56 per cent share in total order value. The portal was launched in August 2016 for better transparency and efficiency in the public procurement process.
The marketplace currently has nearly 53,000 registered government departments, organisations, and PSUs as buyers procuring goods across 16,335 product categories and 172 service categories. So far, the portal has processed 69.61 lakh orders. The growth in seller count also came amid a dedicated page created on the portal in March 2020 for procurement of Covid related medical and auxiliary equipment from small businesses and other sellers to fight the pandemic. To enhance supplies, the government had also urged MSMEs earlier in manufacturing or supply of such equipment to register as a supplier on GeM.
The seller count is further likely to increase as the marketplace is currently underway integrating all procurement made by Indian Railways onto its platform. As a result, it may see around Rs 50,000 crore of annual procurement by latter done online, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. In a performance review meeting of GeM with officers of the procurement marketplace and Department last month, Goyal had informed that the pilot bidding by Railways’ buyers through GeM is likely to begin by August end and that the integration will “usher in a lot of savings for the public exchequer.”
The government had also announced a loan app called GeM SAHAY recently to be rolled out for GeM sellers for loan application at the point of acceptance of an order. However, the government had warned sellers of business losses who don’t declare the percentage of local content in their products on the portal and while creating catalogue on GeM. “Sellers who do not declare local content percentage while uploading product and creating catalogue on GeM will lose out on business and will not be able to participate in bids in which buyer has chosen to procure only MII compliant products,” the ministry had said.