The Indian government’s Ministry of Finance has approved the proposed creation of a ‘Government e-Marketplace’ (GeM) by the Directorate General Supply and Disposal (DGS&D), which will be used by the government to purchase goods for its use. The notice from the government mentions that it will host common use goods and services, but doesn’t give details of which goods and services these are.
The marketplace can be used by government buyers for direct online purchases upto Rs 50,000, while purchases above Rs 50,000 will be required to be made through the supplier having the lowest price, meeting the quality, specification and delivery period requirements.
We’ll update once there is more information on this marketplace.
Agricultural trading facility: Last month, the Government launched an online trading platform for farmers, connecting them to a network of wholesale agricultural markets. To begin with, only 12 different farm commodities would be traded on the online platform, and only 21 regulated wholesale markets (mandis) from eight different states were considered. For context, there are 7,000 mandis in the country.
Marketing site for women entrepreneurs: In March, the Ministry of Women and Child development launched an online marketing portal for women entrepreneurs called Mahila e-haat. The website allows women to list and showcase their products online without any extra costs. It also plans to integrate other ecommerce portals to provide a larger platform for selling and buying.
Other e-governance initiatives:
– Last month, the Income Tax department launched an ‘E-filing’ facility for select category of individuals and firms.
– In March, the Election Commission of India (ECI) launched a set of mobile apps, and other online initiatives related to electoral processes, that can be used by candidates and political parties to submit mandatory filings/statements or request certain permissions.
– In the same month, the ministry of tourism extended e-tourist visas to citizens of 37 more countries. As of February 2016, the government has extended the facility to citizens arriving at Indian airports to at least 150 countries.
– In November 2015, the state of Jharkand introduced a host of Android apps and 3 web portals under the Digital India mission. The apps include Jharkhand transport, MNREGA, e-garbage, main bhi police (I’m a police too) and e-district.
– In August 2015, the Indian government introduced a portal for citizens to file RTI applications online with over 431 public authorities.