THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has joined the Centre’s ‘Government e-Marketplace’ (GeM), the online platform for the government departments to procure different goods and services. After a successful trial run, the Finance Department has now asked all government departments and agencies to make use of the system. GeM, a flagship programme of the Central Government, is aimed at cutting corruption in public procurement by ensuring transparency and best price discovery.
Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said the state’s experimentation with the portal was highly successful. “The trial run was made by the Finance Department and now big purchases like that of office cars are made through the portal,” said Isaac. The minister said the dual benefits of the new system were elimination of corruption and speedy purchase.
“There’s no room for corruption and departments can avail of the best rates in the country. It’s also devoid of the delay in conventional systems owing to anti-corruption safeguards,” he said. The Finance Department has now introduced the system as an option only. A decision on a mandatory shift will be taken in future. According to a senior officer, vehicle purchase through GeM could save crores of rupees for the state every year. “For every vehicle purchase during the trial run, we could save `2 lakh on each vehicle. Another highlight was that the portal showcased only base models,” he said.