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GeM should allow private cos to buy from portal: Prabhu

New Delhi: The Government e-marketplace (GeM) should consider allowing private companies to buy goods and services from the portal, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday said.

Currently, only government departments and public sector units are allowed to procure goods and services from this platform.

The ministry launched GeM in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for the government.

Prabhu said that GeM, which is under the administrative control of the commerce ministry, should now think of expanding its scope to increase the volumes of goods and services traded.

"I feel that we should now think of expanding the scope of GeM. One thing I would like GeM to do is that today private companies can register but the buyer is only government. To make sure that this expands even more, we would like to see that even private companies can buy," he said.

Prabhu said this while launching the six-week national GeM mission initiative starting on Thursday.

When asked about the timeline for allowing private sector to start the procurement, the minister said a verification process needs to be carried out for that.

He also said GeM can think of permitting an individual also to buy products from the platform.

"We will have to verify the vendor and other things. Some sort of credibility process (needs to be there). But they will also be able to (buy)," he told reporters here. Further, Prabhu said that in the next 7-8 years, transactions worth $100 billion are expected on this platform from over Rs 10,000 crore now.

The target is to increase the government savings in excess of 1 per cent of GDP, he said.

GeM CEO Radha Chauhan said besides different central ministries, state governments and public sector units are procuring goods and services from this platform.

The six-week programme aims at accelerating the adoption and use of this platform by central and state governments and their agencies. As many as 1,35,000 sellers are offering 4,43,800 products on this platform.

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