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New Delhi, March 30, 2020
The Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has taken steps to enable quick, efficient, transparent and cost-effective purchases to help various departments in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).
GeM operates a dynamic, self-sustaining and user-friendly portal for procurement of goods and services by Government offices.
An official press release said procurement on GeM has been authorized by General Financial Rules by making necessary changes in government rules. At present, more than 7,400 products in about 150 product categories and hiring of transport service are available on GeM portal. It is a paperless, cashless and system driven e-marketplace that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
Following categories have been created for medical supplies in addition to the 32 existing ones and are live on GeM. These are Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Sample Collection Kit; Reusable vinyl/rubber gloves (cleaning); Eye protection (visor/goggles); Disposable thermometers; Single-use towels; UV tube light for sterilization; Surgical Isolation Face Shield; Medical waste incinerator.
Following categories have been created for auxiliary supplies in addition to 52 categories and 7 services that already exist. These are General purpose tool kit and Wrought aluminium utensils
With this, all categories recommended by NITI Aayog in medical and auxiliary supplies are now on GeM. All OEMs, resellers and suppliers for the newly-created categories are being identified for onboarding on GeM.
A total of 173 COVID-19-related categories are at present on GeM. Of these, 120 are medical-related and 53 Auxiliary.
Bid Cycle for COVID-19 related categories have been reduced to 3 days from the existing 10 days. Buyers would also be able to reduce the Delivery Period for such items to 2 days considering the time-critical nature of the items. This is already live on the portal.
Filter for Delivery Lead Time selection by buyer in L1 buying will be live by April 1. Prioritization of Product/Brand Approval for Covid specific categories will be live by March 28. New business rule for controlling price increase. will be live by April 1.
Allowing Delivery Period Extension 30 days beyond expiry of original Delivery Period will be live by March 28. New business rule to stock out sellers who do not update stock within 48 hours of notification for specific categories is already live.
New page for tracking COVID-19 categories and the number of sellers has gone live by March 28.
The World Bank increased procurement threshold at GeM for COVID 19 Response Project from $ 1 lakh to $ 1 million. In seller onboarding, OEMs and sellers have been identified for eight new COVID categories
Relevant medical categories were searched on GeM and outside GeM. Targeted mailers were sent to approximately 10,000 sellers including OEMs. Mail content detailed new Covid-19 categories and prioritization introduced by GeM in brand & product approval process for faster onboarding.
OEMs and sellers have also been contacted telephonically. More than 200 such sellers have been engaged. They have been informed about the new Covid-19 categories created by GeM and have been asked to onboard. OEMs have been directed to ask their resellers to onboard and hold sufficient inventory levels.
OEMs and sellers have been exhorted to view the current situation as an opportunity and contribute in whatever way they can to the requirements of a national health emergency.
OEMs and sellers outside GeM have also been guided on how to get in contact with regional business facilitators.
OEMs are being sensitised about the orders issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, exempted businesses and various SOPs. An online link: https://www.ndma.gov.in/en/ has also been shared.
Brand approval and product approval requests from OEMs/Sellers have been accorded topmost priority and have been cleared on the same day, the release added.