Govt makes country of origin mandatory for GeM platforms to weed out Chinese goods
The sale of Chinese goods on the dedicated online trading platform for state-run agencies – Government e-Marketplace (GeM) – will now be difficult as the government has made it mandatory for sellers to mention the country of origin of products, officials said on Tuesday.
According to the officials, who requested anonymity, the new feature was added to the online marketplace so buyers can make informed decisions and avoid Chinese products.
The move came against the backdrop of a tense standoff between Indian and Chinese border troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Calls for the boycott of Chinese goods and services have increased since 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops on June 15.
While registration of new sellers is applicable with immediate effect, a specific mention of the country of origin will be mandatory for existing users.
A commerce ministry statement said: “Sellers, who had already uploaded their products before the introduction of this new feature on GeM, are being reminded regularly to update the Country of Origin, with a warning that their products shall be removed from GeM if they fail to update the same.”
GeM, a special purpose vehicle under the commerce ministry, has taken this significant step to promote the Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat schemes, it said.
The platform has also enabled a provision for indicating the percentage of local content in products in order to promote local goods, it added.
“With this new feature, now, the Country of Origin as well as the local content percentage are visible in the marketplace for all items. More importantly, the ‘Make in India’ filter has now been enabled on the portal. Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria,” the statement said.
GeM is dedicated to promote the Make in India initiative. The marketplace has facilitated the entry of small local sellers in public procurement.
“GeM is enabling quick, efficient, transparent and cost-effective procurement, especially in this hour of need when government organisations require products and services urgently to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.
Purchases through GeM by government users have been authorised and made mandatory by the finance ministry in 2017.
The e-market for different goods and services is a dedicated procurement portal for government organisations and public sector companies. It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement. It provides tools such as e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate government users achieve the best value for their money.