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Govt procurement comes full circle in Chhattisgarh, GeM portal to resume

New BJP-led government restores practise of purchasing goods & services from Centre's GeM portal; Cong-led govt used to get it from state's portal

Agriculture, farmers, wheat, procurement, MSP, APMC, commodity

R Krishna Das Raipur

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The Chhattisgarh government has decided to procure goods and services from the Centre’s e-Market (GeM) portal, overturning the previous Congress-led dispensation’s practice of getting them from the state government’s own e-portal.

In 2016, the then BJP government led by Raman Singh had asked all its departments to get goods and services from the GeM portal soon after it was launched by the central government.

But in 2019, after the Congress trounced BJP and Bhupesh Baghel took over as the Chief Minister, the Chhattisgarh government launched its own single-window e-portal E-Marketing Network of Chhattisgarh (e-ManeC). And with it, the Baghel government had scrapped the practice of purchasing items from the Centre’s portal.

But on Tuesday, that decision was overturned.

The Vishnu Deo Sai Cabinet on Tuesday decided to amend the Chhattisgarh Government Store Purchase Rules, 2002 (as revised in 2022).

“Now, all the state government departments will procure materials, goods, and services available on the Government of India’s GeM website, following the prescribed procedures,” a state government spokesperson said.

Any additional requirements will need the consent of the Finance Department, he said, adding that the previous government had prohibited purchases from the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, resulting in increased procurement challenges, compromised quality, and a rise in corruption allegations.

“The move will ensure a transparent process for acquiring government materials, marking another step towards good governance by the Vishnu Deo Sai government,” the spokesperson said.

The state Cabinet decided that existing rate contracts will be cancelled at the end of this month to prevent corruption. According to officials who had worked with the rate contract system, the practice restricted competitive bidding.

It resulted in the monopoly of the firm that had reached the contract, they said. Many sellers were not manufacturers but continued to supply items under the contract by procuring items from other sources.

Under the eManeC portal, 44,245 orders valued ~3442.074 crore were processed, according to the portal website.

Forest department ranked top in placing the orders followed by education, and panchayat and rural development department.

But a section of suppliers enrolled in the rate contract system had alleged that procurement through the GeM portal would ignore the local manufacturers.

The officials however claimed that the GeM portal has clauses to protect the interest of local manufacturers and suppliers. 

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First Published: Jul 11 2024 | 1:00 AM IST

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