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Centre to charge a transaction fee

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal allowing cooperatives to sell products on the Government-e-Marketplace (GeM) platform. The cooperatives may however be charged a transaction fee to cover the incremental costs, a government statement said. 

The GeM started in 2017 is a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods and Services. The portal is open for all government buyers—Central and State Ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions, local bodies, etc. Private buyers cannot buy on the platform but private people can sell products to government bodies through the portal. 

Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that the GeM would provide an opportunity to the cooperatives to sell products in a transparent manner. He said the move will benefit 27 crore people associated with 8.5 lakh cooperatives.

He said the micro and medium small industries will get buyers and it will boost the prospects of Vocal for Local and Atma Nirbhar Bharat (self sufficient India).

Special purpose vehicle

“The validated list of cooperatives to be onboarded on the GeM – for pilot as well as subsequent scale up – will be decided by Ministry of Cooperation in consultation with the GeM SPV [Special Purpose Vehicle]. This will ensure that technical capacity and logistics requirement of the GeM system are taken into account while deciding the pace of on boarding of Cooperative as buyers on the GeM,” a government statement said. 

It said that while the GeM SPV will continue to leverage the existing platform and organisation for supporting the proposed expanded mandate, it may need some investments in additional technology infrastructure, and additional training and support resources.

“To cover for these incremental costs, the GeM may charge an appropriate transaction fee from cooperatives, to be decided in mutual consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation. Such charges shall not be more than the charges which the GeM would charge the other Government buyers. This will be planned to ensure self-sustainability of operations for the GeM, and hence no major financial implication is expected for government,” it said. 

Source : The Hindu June 01 2022