GeM took several steps for easy procurement of critical health equipment: CEOPublic procurement portal GeM has implemented several steps such as rapid onboarding of sellers of oxygen cylinders and concentrators, to enable easy buying of critical health equipment by government agencies in the wake of on-going second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, a senior official said on Monday.

The Commerce Ministry launched Government e-Marketplace (GeM), an online platform for public procurement, in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for government, which runs in several lakh crore.

Last year in March, GeM created a dedicated page on its platform for medical and protective equipment like thermal scanners, biohazard bags and disinfectants to help the government fight the pandemic.

“In the face of the on-going second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, GeM has implemented several measures to enable easy procurement of critical health equipment. As directed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, GeM has undertaken rapid onboarding of oxygen cylinders and concentrators in the marketplace along with aggressive marketing of the same,” CEO of GeM Prashant Kumar Singh told PTI.

He said that despite functional constraints arising due to the pandemic, efforts of the platform have yielded results with oxygen-related orders of value Rs 65.86 crore being placed on GeM in April.

Oxygen cylinders and concentrators are in huge demand due to increasing Covid-19 infections in the country.

These efforts are in addition to the measures that have already been implemented over the past year, Singh added.

“Starting in March, 2020, GeM has taken a number of urgent and targeted measures to ease the procurement journey for Covid-19 related goods and services. This includes the quick creation of several Covid- 19 specific categories in the marketplace,” he added.

Currently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and Central Armed Police Forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal.

The portal provides a wide range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are currently the top product categories.

Services, including transportation, logistics, waste management, web casting and analytical, are listed on the portal.

So far, 17,88,490 sellers and service providers are registered with the portal to sell 3,12,6567 products and several services. Over Rs 1,14,270 crore worth of transactions have happened so far at the portal.

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