The Government eMarketplace (GeM) is now looking to bring traditional weavers and artisans online. The ministry of textiles is looking to connect 50 lakh weavers and artisans with the GeM portal.
Textiles minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday said that the move can enable the government to directly procure goods from them. The minister added that the government is jointly working with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) “to ensure that we have a platform which can help commercialise the potential of our artisans and weavers and there can be a direct sale to the people of India.”
Launched in 2016, GeM is the national public procurement portal offering end to end solutions for all procurement needs of Central and state government departments, public sector undertakings (PSUs), autonomous institutions and local bodies. Since its commencement, GeM has transformed public procurement in the country by leveraging technology and making procurement contactless, paperless and cashless.
The portal has over 3.86 lakh sellers selling more than 17.71 lakh products with a transaction value of INR 54,147 Cr. Over 40K government buyers are currently buying products and services from the GeM portal.
Besides large traders and other players selling their products and services on the government’s online marketplace, MSMEs and startups are also adding value to the platform. In its three year journey, GeM has processed over 28 lakh orders worth INR 40K Cr in gross merchandise value out of which 50% has been transacted by MSMEs.
It has been reported that GeM is one of the most inclusive marketplaces in the world as it comprises 20% MSMEs and startups with their gross merchandise value standing at INR 600 Cr ($83.9 Mn). Through the GeM portal, MSMEs and startups have increased their revenues. On the other hand, the government has also been able to save around 15-25% from it.
India’s handloom industry is said to be the second-largest employment provider for the rural population after agriculture. According to the Handloom Export Promotion Council, over 4.3 Mn people are directly involved in handloom production.
Even ecommerce majors such as Amazon and Flipkart are focussing on these artisans. In July 2019, Flipkart had announced the launch of the Samarth programme. It aims to bring India’s artisans, weavers, and handicrafts producers onto ecommerce. On the other hand, Amazon India has also launched Amazon Karigar programmes to promote regional artisans.