Public Procurement Transactions - Public procurement worth Rs 40,000 crore has taken place through the government's online marketplace GeM, Expenditure Secretary T V Somanathan said on Monday. Stressing that the focus of public procurement system is on economy, rigour, fairness and transparency, he said the efficiency of procurement makes a big difference to the fiscal discipline of government. Towards this, the government has recently revised the general financial rules (GFR) and procurement manuals, and made advances in the use of technology in procurement.
The Government e-Marketplace (GeM), an online platform for public procurement, was launched by the Commerce Ministry in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for government departments.
Currently, 3.24 lakh vendors are registered on this platform. "We have the GeM, central procurement portal, which currently has electronic bids of 1,00,000 tenders - including state government tenders. And we have (Rs) 18-19 lakh crore per annum, of tendering on central public procurement portal (CPPP)," Somanathan said while addressing the Global Procurement Summit 2020.
"The government electronic marketplace established in 2016 for common used goods and services have clocked transaction of Rs 40,000 crore," he stated. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her 2020-21 Budget speech, said the government is looking to increase the turnover of the GeM portal to Rs 3 lakh crore. CPPP is operational since 2012 and hosts the Government eProcurement System. Somanathan said global government procurement economy is estimated at USD 10 trillion in value; and in most countries, including India, it constitutes more than one-fifth of GDP taking into account central, state government and public sector undertakings.
He said the government needs to work on an "economy without delay" and rigour without rigidity. Somanathan further said that public private partnerships (PPP) are important for infrastructure development across various sectors.
PPP contracts are long-term contracts, and despite due diligence, it is rarely possible to anticipate every future eventuality or risk. "One of the problems we continue to face in many of the PPPs is how do we deal with unanticipated risks and changes that are not specifically provided for in contracts," he said, adding that so far India has not been successful in using arbitration as a means of quick resolution of contract disputes.
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