Commerce Ministry Current Affairs

Commerce Ministry to shut down DGS&D

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has started the process of shutting down Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), over 100-year-old government procurement arm, in this fiscal.

Earlier, the Union Cabinet in April 2017 had ordered the DGS&D to wind up operations by October 2017. Now the public procurement of goods and services will be managed by the Government’s e-market platform (GeM).

Before closing, the Commerce Ministry will decide upon the issues concerning manpower, land and office spaces of the directorate, which are present all over the country.

Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D)

DGS&D has its origin in the India Stores Department which was established in London for purchase of imported stores in 1860. In 1922, India Stores Department was established in India to arrange purchases for Government Civil Departments and Military Purchases.

In 1951, the set-up of Purchase and Inspection was reorganised and DGS&D was constituted, in its present form, to handle all government purchases centrally. A minor restructuring was undertaken in 1974 to allow defence and railways to procure items meant for their exclusive use.

The directorate has two professional service cadres — Indian Supply Service (ISS) and Indian Inspection Service (IIS). Currently, the directorate has four regional offices including Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. It has 12 Purchase Directorates (Commodity-wise) at its headquater in New Delhi. Besides, there are 20 offices and the staff strength is over 1,200.

Need for shutting down DGS&D

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry had launched GeM (Government’s e-market platform) to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurement. At present, the Union and state governments procure goods and services worth over Rs. 5 lakh crore annually. Currently, over 20,000 sellers are registered on this GeM portal for selling over 50,000 products. The GeM portal has eliminated human interface in the procurement process such as order placement, vendor registration and payment processing to a great extent.

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5 States, 1 UT ink MoU with Centre on Government e-Marketplace

5 States and a Union Territory (UT) have formally adopted the Centre’s Government e-Marketplace (GeM) initiative. They are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh and Puducherry (UT).

In this regard, these states/UT have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join GeM initiative. Four more states including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Haryana, will ink such MoU soon.

About Government e-Marketplace (GeM) initiative

GeM is an Online Market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption. It functions under Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

GeM is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface. Presently more than 40000 products in about 150 categories and hiring of transport service are available on GeM POC portal.

Benefits of GeM

Transparency: GeM to a great extent eliminates human interface in order placement, vendor registration and payment processing. It is open platform and does not offer no entry barriers to bonafide suppliers who wish to do business with the Government. For procurements of higher value, GeM has bidding facility.

Efficiency: GeM allows direct purchase on it in a matter of minutes. The entire process in online, end to end integrated. It has online tools for assessing price reasonability.

Secure and safe: GeM platform is a completely secure. The antecedents of the suppliers are verified online and automatically through Aadhar, PAN databases. Besides, all the documents on GeM are e-signed at various stages by the buyers and sellers.

Support to Make in India: GeM has filters which are Preferential Market Access (PMA) compliant for selecting goods which are manufactured by Small Scale Industries (SSI). Thus, it will enable Government buyers to easily procure Make in India and SSI goods.

Savings to the Government: Transparency, efficiency under GeM initiative will result in a substantial reduction in prices of procuring goods, in comparison to the direct purchase rates and purchases by tender and rate contract.

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