Government Procurement Current Affairs

GeM and CII sign MoU to establish GeMSamvad

The Public procurement portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) and industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have signed a MoU to establish GeMSamvad, a GeM -Industry forum.

GeMSamvad aims to create awareness about online purchase of goods and services by government agencies and departments,

Key Facts

GeMSamvad will be a participative and collaborative approach with the industry for promoting Indian industry and entrepreneurship.  The MoU will facilitate GeM and CII to work together to create GeM related awareness across the country.

The MoU facilitates establishment of GeM-Industry Forum for collaboration with the Indian Industry for seeking inputs on the technical specifications of products and service-level agreement of services to be procured by government agencies. It also calls for improving the quality of products procured from the MSMEs and organize annual Public Procurement Convention of all stakeholders. It also calls for setting up of GeM Resource Centres at CII Regional Offices.

About Government eMarketplace (GeM)

GeM is an online market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government. It was established by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D), Ministry of Commerce and Industries.

GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government procurement. It is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.

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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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