With giants like Flipkart, amazon etc., already doing well in the market, the Indian e-commerce industry in growing very fast. Apart from these private shopping websites, the government of India is all set to launch its own website.
A portal called GeM, short for Government e-marketplace would allow all government officials to make routine office purchases from cups and saucers to laptops and printers online.
According to ‘TOI’, officials estimate that expenditure on commonly used office items ranges between 10% and 20% of the government's non-plan expenditure, a figure which stands at Rs 14.28 lakh crore for fiscal year 2016-17. That translates to potential purchases of Rs 1.4-2.8 lakh crore. To put that in context, Flipkart was aiming to sell goods worth up to $12 billion (Rs 80,000 crore) by June 2016.
The project is being fronted by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals, an organisation that was set up in 1860, just three years after the first war of Indian independence. "Procurement is not a social welfare project; the government has to save money on it," said a senior government official aware of the plans.
The portal can also see an addition of goods like mass procurement of flowers to adorn desks of officers.
In addition to that, booking taxis for official pickups and drops will also be facilitated. The portal will also have provision for reverse bidding which will make rates competitive.
A full-blown rollout is expected early next year. The interface is being architected by department of electronics and information technology. A professional IT service provider will be roped in for the project.
Also, it I not mandatory to procure only through the website and the website will also be used for solving the issues of payments.
The proposal of the project is announced by union minister Arun Jaitley.