The Commerce Ministry has launched an e-marketplace for online purchase of goods and services by various central government ministries and departments.
The move is aimed at bringing in more transparency and streamlining the government procurement of goods and services.
The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) has developed the portal for the purpose. The department, which is under the Commerce Ministry, carries out the procurement.
“To bring in transparency, the DGS&D has worked on it very hard. The Department of Electronics and IT has also played a very big role in this. What they have done is to start with on those regularly purchasable items which the various government departments will need. They are just putting it on their portal,” Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Citing example of computers, she said if one wants a particular specification of a computer, various brands and specifications are available at the portal with cost.
Through this portal all the government departments and ministries can procure goods, she said adding “the prices are going to be there, it is for you to say how many units you want”.
The minister said this is just a beginning and many more things are in the offing.
“It will get expanded in the longer term. By March next year, we want it to make it comprehensive. So this is one way to make government procurement absolutely transparent,” she added.
The DGS&D has asked the departments that for the success of the marketplace, it is necessary to upload the demands of common user goods and services required by government buyers.
This would help aggregate demand which will lead to lower prices, better choices and faster procurement.
E-commerce is a fast growing industry in the country. According to a study, e-commerce market is likely to grow 10-fold in next five years to reach USD 100 billion on the back of increasing penetration of Internet, smartphones and spread of digital network in rural areas.