Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the National Public Procurement Portal, which is currently being used ONLY by various government departments/organizations/PSUs, for their online procurement of common use goods & services they require on day to day usage, may soon open for private buyers.

The GeM currently has no access to private buyers outside the government and its various entities. Most state governments now buy requirements such as laptops, car rental services, and medicines for anganwadis using the GeM platform.

However, the government is now contemplating on allowing private buyers or companies outside government to buy on the government e-marketplace platform in order to help lower the cost of goods and services for governments and raise online transactions with figures of $25 billion, said India's commerce minister Suresh Prabhu.

"If somebody else wants to buy on the GeM platform, they will also be allowed to do so. If volume increases, price will also come down and this will benefit both the government and private parties," said Prabhu, while inaugurating the National Mission on GeM in New Delhi for increasing awareness among buyers and sellers.

For registering private buyers on GeM, government is planning to put a system that make sure that buyers make payment in 10 days guaranteed.

The government essentially wants to raise its online transaction over GeM and decrease the cost of goods & services. Currently, GeM records transactions worth $1.5 billion And government is aiming to raise this figure to $25 billion in three years. Amazon India and Flipkart, including Myntra, record online transactions of about $12 billion at present.

"GeM will be doing transactions worth $25 billion in three years and $100 billion in seven to eight years," said the trade minister, Suresh Prabhu.

Surprisingly, the minister also speculated about probable valuation of GeM, which means selling equity of GeM, which is a not-for-profit Section 8 Company registered under the companies Act, 2013. And, this does not allow government to sell its equity in open market. However, in future, if the government wishes to do so then it has to change the nature of the company into a for-profit one.

In April 2017, to replace the public procurement wing called the directorate general of supplies and disposals (DGS&D), Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi had set up the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called as Government e-Marketplace GeM (SPV), which is the owner of GeM platform and builds, operates and maintains GeM platform.

Since its launch in 2016, GeM has recorded more than 725,000 transactions worth more than ₹11,250 crore and established itself as an open, transparent, efficient and inclusive platform providing huge savings to the government.

The portal has nearly 27,000 buyer organizations registered and about 137,000 sellers and service providers offering more than 465,000 products and services for online purchase and contributes to approximately 20-25% average overall savings to the government.

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