Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The Modi government’s e-commerce portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) for micro, small, and medium enterprises to sell goods and services online to government departments and organisations has recorded a 4.75X jump in its seller-count over the past 12 months. From around 3.76 lakh sellers listed on the platform in May 2020, the total number has increased to 17.86 lakh as of May 9, 2021, according to GeM statistics. In fact, it nearly doubled from 9.44 lakh as of January 12, 2021. Out of the total seller base, the share of MSE sellers has increased from around 1 lakh to 6.91 lakh during the said period and grown from 4.1 lakh sellers in January this year.
The jump in seller base has come amid the Covid pandemic last year for which a separate category of Covid-related goods and sellers was created on the platform. Sellers selling medical supplies under the Covid category on the GeM portal had increased from 10,158 as of April 22, 2020, to 33,557 as of May 9, 2021, while the number of sellers selling auxiliary products grew from 15,998 to 35,009. The MSME Ministry had in April last year urged sellers in manufacturing or supply of medical and related equipment to register as a supplier on the GeM portal to supply ventilators, N95 masks, disposable thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, protective gowns, soap, chairs, tables, bedsheets, computers, extension boards, and other medical and auxiliary products.
Moreover, for ease of purchase, GeM had enabled the ‘staggered delivery’ feature for buyers including government departments, organisations, PSUs, etc., to schedule the delivery of products for up to 1 year at the time of bid creation itself. GeM had crossed the 10-lakh-seller milestone within four-and-a-half years of its launch (August 2016) to become the largest e-commerce marketplace in the country. As of January 27, 2021, 10,13,448 sellers and service providers were listed across over 13,000 products and 178 service categories. As of May 9, 2021, nearly 31.78 lakh products across 16,300 product categories and over 1 lakh service offerings across 186 service categories were listed. The total transaction value on the GeM portal stood at Rs 1.14 lakh crore while MSEs’ share in order value stood at 56.16 per cent.