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Amazon of government procurement is helping PSUs save this much on buying from MSME sellers

Sandeep Soni

Public procurement portal Government e-Marketplace (GeM) launched by the government for public sector units, organisations, and departments to procure goods from sellers including micro and small enterprises has helped buyers save average 32.79 per cent on procurement through MSMEs in the 10-month duration this year, GeM recently tweeted. "GeM is delighted to announce that till October 2019, government buyers have achieved an average savings of 32.79 per cent through transactions with MSMEs over the platform," it said. The platform earlier this month crossed $5-billion gross merchandise value mark.

The platform currently has nearly 3 lakh sellers out of which close to 60,000 are micro and small sellers contributing over 50 per cent to the total transactions value worth Rs 38,418 crore. GeM's total number of buyers stand at 40,327 listings nearly 15 lakh products and 19,415 services. The total number of orders placed on the platform so far is over 27 lakh. It is working on ensuring timely vendor payments, supporting MSMEs to get working capital from banks and rating buyers and sellers to boost efficiency, PTI had reported.

Also read: Small businesses' big role: MSMEs to help govt double farmer's income, achieve $5 trillion GDP target

The portal has also tied up with over 15 public and private sector banks including Union Bank of India, Federal Bank etc., for them to offer services such as transfer of funds through GeM Pool Accounts. The banks would also provide advice of Performance Bank Guarantees (e-PBG) and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to the registered users on the portal, facilitate cashless and paperless payments on the portal, the government had said earlier.

GeM, in February this year, had also launched Startup Runway for DPIIT-registered startups to sell their products and services to government buyers. According to the portal, 1,528 such startups are registered on GeM offering 12,915 products. MSME Ministry in August this year had also announced planning a similar portal for small businesses called Bharat Craft on the lines of Alibaba and is expected to "see turnover on the platform to the tune of Rs 10 lakh crore in the next few years and this would benefit MSMEs in a big way," MSME minister Nitin Gadkari had said at an event.