Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday asked the Government e-Marketplace (GEM) officials to make the e-market more affordable, user-friendly, transparent, and simple using Artificial Intelligence and to increase its volume.
According to a press statement from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Goyal, while reviewing the functioning of Government e-Marketplace (GEM), said "Stay alert against cartelisation and collusion in GEM."
Here he was informed that the pilot project to integrate GEM with the Indian Railways E-Procurement System (IREPS) will be launched by next month while the process of integrating GEM with the India Post and Ministry of Panchayati Raj is in progress.
The Minister said that as the volume of operations grows, AI would be needed to bring the most appropriate buyers and sellers together for transactions.
"Use of AI would also act as a watchdog against business malpractices like collusion and cartelisation which often sneak in online business platforms," he said and cautioned GeM officials to keep a watch.
Goyal said that the transparency of the system should be strengthened and no one should ever get a chance to raise doubts on the integrity of the GeM platform.
He further asked GeM authorities to wrap up the pending audit by the Directorate of Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC).
As per the press statement, the GeM is a 100 per cent government-owned company setup under the aegis of the Department of Commerce for procurement of goods and services by Central and state government organizations.
"Since its launch on August 9, 2016, the order value of GeM has grown more than 90 times, - from Rs 422 crore in Financial Year (FY) 2016-17 to over Rs 38,620 crore last Financial Year with MSMEs constituting 56,7 per cent share of total order value," the ministry said.
"More than 55,400 buyers and 30,66,400 sellers have onboarded the GeM. The portal now provides trade in 16,456 products and 206 service categories," it added.
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