Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal suggested introducing end-to-end online execution and payment of all transactions by buyers on the GeM procurement portal and improving tracking of order deliveries by relation to deadlines. Chairing a review meeting on GeM’s progress with CEO Prashant Kumar Singh and other officials, Goyal said end-to-end digital procurement would deliver economies of scale and bring social inclusivity to promoting micro and small businesses, according to a trade statement. ministry on Sunday.
The minister noted that so far more than 95% of all physical order deliveries in the current fiscal year have been made on time in cases where online fulfillment and payment have been made. While steady improvement has been seen in on-time delivery for all types of transactions such as Direct Buy, L1, Bids or Reverse Auctions, Goyal shared suggestions to revise thresholds, add functionality to further expedite delivery times and provide more flexibility for government buyers to choose products based on their delivery needs, the statement added.
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The minister also reviewed the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for close monitoring and anomaly detection in purchases via GeM and suggested strong legal and punitive measures against buyers and suppliers involved in such activities. The portal also seeks to use AI and ML to perform “proactive simplifications of product features and suggestions” for informed buyer decision-making and savings in government spending. GeM also planned technical upgrades to improve the user experience on the platform, the statement said.
The review comes days after Goyal urged the industry to act as whistleblowers to point out misrepresentations about GeM in terms of product indigenization. Addressing a conclave on the Government Procurement (Make in India Preference) Ordinance 2017 on August 23, the minister said the order would improve transparency in the procurement process and encourage goods and services to be manufactured in the country.
GeM had recently crossed the 50 lakh seller mark, about five months after hitting the 40 lakh seller mark. At the time of filing this report, 5,045,551 vendors and service providers were listed on GeM, including 8,02,162 micro and small businesses.
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