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GeM CEO, Retail News, ET Retail

FinMin's decision to levy penalty for late payment to vendors will assure timely payments: GeM CEOThe Finance Ministry‘s decision to levy 1 per cent penalty on government departments and agencies for delayed payments to vendors selling goods on GeM platform will assure timely payments to them, particularly MSME players, a top official said. Last week, the Department of Expenditure stated that government departments and agencies, procuring goods and services from the government e-marketplace (GeM) platform, will have to pay 1 per cent interest on late payments made to vendors.

Welcoming the decision, GeM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Talleen Kumar said one of the biggest complaints from sellers on GeM was delayed payments by government buyers.

“This has now been resolved through a historic step by the ministry of finance. All those who sell on GeM can now be assured of timely payments,” Kumar told .

The government has been repeatedly emphasising on the need for prompt payment to vendors, especially the MSME vendors.

For procurement made on GeM, buyers are mandated to make payments within 10 calendar days after generation (including auto generation) of consignee receipt and acceptance certificate (CRAC) on the GeM.

But despite this, several buyers were taking more than 10 days to make their payments to vendors.

According to the Department of Expenditure, the interest amount will be deposited in an account maintained by GeM. This amount will be used to educate sellers and buyers, he added.

Talking about the work on the advanced version of GeM portal, the CEO said work is going on at a fast pace, and by September 2020, “there will be a powerful and feature-rich GeM 4.0”.

The platform is coming up with a more dynamic, transformational and vibrant portal by adding advanced features such as powerful search engine, revamped brand and product approval process and faster creation of categories for goods and services through tender analysis.

GeM portal was launched in August 2016 for online purchases of goods and services by all central government ministries and departments.

“The GeM 4.0 will be powerful, more smart, better, unified, intelligent and more inclusive,” Kumar said.

The portal will also have features for market enhancement, catalogue improvements, revamping of bidding and rating system, natural language processing-based search engine, demand aggregation, and staggered delivery.

Currently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and Central Armed Police Forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal.

The portal provides a wide range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are currently the top product categories.

Services like transportation, logistics, waste management and web casting are listed on the portal.

So far, 4,04,045 sellers and service providers are registered with the portal to sell 18,85,628 products and services.

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