GeM CEO Talleen Kumar said that a function of ‘custom bid’ has also been created on the platform, which will allow a buyer to float a bid on GeM even if the category of product or service that the person might be looking for is not available on the GeM portal.
“We have integrated GeM with the CPPP. Integration with Indian Railway Electronic Procurement System and the Defence Public Procurement Portal is underway. It would significantly improve the buying and selling experience and processes for ministries, departments and other agencies,” he said.
Now all the big government buyers including railways, defence and public sector undertakings can publish their high value tenders for estimated order value exceeding Rs 50 lakh at the GeM portal even if the goods or services that a buyer is looking for is not on the platform, Kumar told PTI.
He said that the Unified Procurement System (UPS) will provide a single user experience to buyers and sellers and consolidate the scattered vendor bases on publishing portals onto GeM, leading to better price discovery and dissemination of best practices in government/public procurement/buying.
Highlighting the implementation of the UPS, the CEO said all central government buyers will be required to obtain a ‘GeM Availability Report and Past Transaction Summary’ in accordance with an office memorandum of the Department of Expenditure to take informed procurement decisions.
“If a buyer decides to publish the bid outside GeM on the CPPP for example, the corresponding ID of GeM Availability Report will be required as a mandatory input before publishing of a bid and that ID will be validated in real time with GeM,” he said.
He further said that 1,328 software processes with 242 major ones have been implemented/enhanced from August last year till September 2020 for providing a number of features and functionalities for transparent, convenient and cost effective procurement at the portal.
“An additional over 325 software processes with over 60 major ones are in the pipeline. These features will enable large buyers such as CPSEs, railways and defence to procure from GeM,” Kumar said.
Further, the CEO informed that new modules such as seller invitation module and crowdsourcing of sellers and categories have been created for rapid onboarding of sellers and faster creation of categories of products.
Instructions have recently been issued by the finance ministry to make it mandatory for sellers offering their goods and services to be registered on GeM and obtain a unique GeM seller ID which shall be invariably incorporated in every purchase order by all central agencies with effect from November 1 this year.
He said that this will hold for all ministries except the Ministry of Railways and will be for order value exceeding Rs 25 lakh and this feature will also ensure onboarding of sellers on GeM.
The whole exercise is part of making government procurement platform GeM a more dynamic, transformational and vibrant portal by adding advanced features such as powerful search engine by using Natural Language Processing, advanced analytics using AI (artificial intelligence) including machine learning, revamped brand and product approval process and faster creation of categories for goods and services through tender analysis.
The portal was launched in August 2016 for online purchases of goods and services by all the central government ministries and departments.
Currently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and central armed police forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal.
The portal provides a wide range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are currently the top product categories. Services, including transportation, logistics, waste management, web casting and analytics, are listed on the portal.
So far, 6,04,468 sellers and service providers are registered with the portal to sell 15,09,605 products and several services. Over Rs 68,000 crore worth of transactions have happened so far at the portal.