In a bid to promote ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ (Self-reliant India), the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) – the dedicated portal for government procurement has made it mandatory for sellers to mention the ‘country of origin’ on products they sell through the platform.
The Union Commerce Minister released a statement on Tuesday making it mandatory for sellers to mention the ‘Country of Origin’ while registering new products on GeM.
Further, sellers who had already uploaded their products before the introduction of this new feature on GeM, have been asked to update the Country of Origin, with a warning that their products shall be removed from GeM if they fail to update the same.
The Commerce Ministry in its statement said that the GeM has taken this significant step to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Percentage of local content to be mentioned
The platform has also enabled a provision for indicating the percentage of local content in products in order to promote local goods.
“With this new feature, now, the Country of Origin as well as the local content percentage are visible in the marketplace for all items. More importantly, the ‘Make in India’ filter has now been enabled on the portal. Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50% local content criteria,” the statement said.
Since its inception, GeM is continuously working towards promoting ‘Make in India’ initiative and the portal has facilitated the entry of small local sellers in public procurement, the statement said. Government e-Market (GeM) portal was launched in August 2016 for online purchases of goods and services by all the central government ministries and departments.
Earlier this month, the government had made changes the rules of public procurement to give maximum preference to companies whose goods and services have 50 per cent or more local content, a move aimed at promoting “Make in India” and making the country self-reliant.
PMO seeks details of action plan to cut dependence on China
This development comes on the backdrop of a high-level meeting that took place at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to discuss ways to promote Aatmanirbhar Bharat and cut import dependency on China.
During the meeting, the PMO reportedly asked for further details to form an action plan. The discussion over reducing imports from China has underlined significance amidst increasing border tensions between the two nations. There has been a rise in the demand to boycott products from China.
The move to replace the Chinese imports with more reliance on the domestically-manufactured products comes after the recent standoff between Indian and Chinese border troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Even earlier, there have been calls for promoting Indian products and reducing dependency on Chinese goods in the Indian market, especially after the coronavirus pandemic impacted global supply chains.