The Hush Post, Chandigarh: In a significant move to boost transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement, the Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to state procurement agencies to use the Central government portal, Government e-Marketplace (GeM), for direct online purchases of goods and services.
The decision was taken by the cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on a proposal of the Finance Department.
The procurement of common use goods and services by government buyers under the Central GeM, launched by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS & D), would help the state improve transparency into the system, while facilitating online procurement of common use Goods & Services.
The Cabinet also gave a go-ahead to issue a notification in this regard after amending the Punjab Financial Rules, Volume II, following which the rules would be now called the Punjab Financial (Amendment) Rules, Volume II, 2017. Subsequently, in Appendix 8 after rule 7, Rule 7-A has been inserted.
The new rule envisages that the Central GeM shall be used by the state government departments or government agencies for direct online purchases of goods and services as:
(a) up to Rs.50,000 through any of the available suppliers on the GeM, meeting the requisite quality, specification and delivery period
(b) above Rs.50,000 and up to Rs.30 lac through the GeM Seller having lowest price amongst the available sellers, of at least three different manufacturers, on GeM, meeting the requisite quality, specification and delivery period.
The tools for online bidding and online reverse auction available on GeM can be used by the Buyer if decided by the competent authority, above Rs.30 lac, through the supplier having lowest price meeting the requisite quality, specification and delivery period after mandatorily obtaining bids, using online bidding or reverse auction tool provided on GeM.
The state government departments or government agencies shall ensure that the price of selected offer is reasonable before the placement of order. The monetary ceiling specified in sub-rule (i) shall be applicable only on purchase made through GeM which may be revised by the state government from time to time. For purchases, if any, outside GeM, other relevant provisions of these rules shall apply.
A demand for goods shall not be divided into small quantities to make piecemeal purchases to avoid procurement through lowest quoting price for buying or bidding or reverse auction on GeM or in order to avoid the necessity of obtaining the sanction of higher authorities required with reference to the estimated value of the total demand, as per the amendment.