Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday called upon Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to expand its scope and include more participants for public procurement of products and services. The commerce ministry launched GeM, an online platform for public procurement, in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for the government, which runs in several lakh crore.

Interacting with the GeM officers, the minister also said that integration of the platform with the railway e-procurement system towards the unified procurement system for buyers should be done expeditiously.

This will usher in a lot of savings for the public exchequer and pave the way for big-ticket procurements by the petroleum and steel sectors, he added.

The pilot bidding of railways buyers through integrated systems is expected to commence by August-end.

About Rs 50,000 crore worth of annual procurement may be done by the railways on GeM post the integration.

Further, the minister said the GeM portal should be cautious against cartelisation by the sellers.

GeM’s order value has reached Rs 38,620 crore in 2020-21. There are over 52,000 buyers and over 18.75 lakh sellers registered on the portal, dealing in 16,332 product catalogues and 187 service catalogues.

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