Entrepreneurs in remote rural areas will be able to sell their products to the government departments and enterprises through Government e-Marketplace (GeM). To facilitate the buying and selling services, GeM, CSC e-Governance Services India (CSC-SPV) and Department of Posts inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on Wednesday. The MoU will propel advocacy, outreach, mobilisation and capacity-building of last-mile Government buyers, sellers and service providers in public procurement.
Government e-Marketplace is set up under Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the procurement of goods and services by Central ministries, state departments, public sector enterprises (PSEs) and autonomous bodies.
As a result of the MoU, last-mile stakeholders such as local bodies, Panchayati Raj institutions, among others and under-served seller groups in rural areas; namely women, Khadi and tribal entrepreneurs, micro, small enterprises (MSE), self-help groups (SHGs), farmer producer organisations (FPO), startups, rural artisans and weavers, divyangjan and hunar-haat craftsmen, bamboo producers, and stakeholders such as corporates, private companies, colleges, scientific and technical research institutions, and universities, among others will be able to directly sell their produce to the government agencies through the GeM portal.
Nearly 4.5 lakh Common Service Centers (CSC) and approximately 1.5 lakh India Post offices across India will be trained to assist last-mile Govt buyers, sellers and service providers with buyer-seller registration, product catalogue upload and management, order acceptance, fulfilment and invoice generation functionality on GeM portal. Value-added services such as photography of product images, packaging, logistics and shipment of packages through Speed Post and Business Parcel, through India Post website, online, print and office communication channels will also be delivered at charges defined by CSC and Department of Posts. GeM Services offered through CSCs and India Post offices will be made available to all Govt buyers, sellers and service providers at no charge.
Vernacular language-based training curriculum in print and digital media for CSCs and India Post staff based on the requirement of the participants is being developed by GeM in consultation with CSC-SPV and Dept of Posts. Training sessions will be conducted through in-person and virtual training modes at 6,000 CSCs nominated by CSC-SPV and co-located at district and block-level, who in turn will train panchayat level village-level entrepreneurs (VLE) to familiarise them on various buyer and seller functionalities on the GeM portal.
Speaking at the occasion, PK Singh, CEO, Government e-Marketplace said, “Inclusion is a core value at GeM, and this partnership will leverage and utilise the online and physical infrastructure of CSCs and India Post offices to ensure the inclusion and participation of last-mile stakeholders on GeM.”
Sanjay Rakesh, CEO, CSC e-Governance Services India complimented GeM and India Post for rolling out the delivery of e-commerce, packaging and logistics services through the self-sustaining pan-India network of nearly 4.5 lakh CSCs.
Alok Sharma, Director General, Postal Services said that “the new partnership with GeM and CSC-SPV will propel India Post as the preferred logistics service provider for sellers on GeM portal thereby ensuring a high quality of service and faster delivery of e-commerce benefits through last-mile physical connectivity, across 1.5 lakh India Post offices.
The MoU will address the twin challenges of ‘access to markets’ and ‘access to finance’ faced by under-served seller groups and align the untapped entrepreneurial energy of last-mile producers and service providers in rural India with local Govt buyers.
RuralMarketing.in is now on Telegram. Click here to join Rural Marketing on Telegram and stay updated with the latest news and updates on rural business and the economy.