Cab aggregators Uber and Ola are breaking new ground as they have started providing taxi services to government departments at special rates. They have registered at the portal of government e-marketplace (GeM), which was launched last month for buying goods and services by central ministries and departments with a view to bringing transparency in government procurement, which is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore a year.
According to an official, the government will be able to save huge money as currently departments shell out as much as Rs 40,000 for one taxi per month. “What has been agreed is that they will give a monthly bill to us, something they have never done. Second, for the government, there is no surge pricing,” the official said.
There is a growing demand for taxi services in government departments. These companies want to tap precisely that as they look at the scope of such business. “Everyday, we are looking for cars. If you get the Uber and Ola, it is economical and it is efficient. You also get a complete tracking of distance and clear-cut billing,” the official added.
Further, other aggregators will follow suit and it will increase competition and “we can save a lot of money,” the official said further. To provide the services, Uber has created a separate mobile app for government officials.
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Several vendors have registered on this online portal to provide goods at competitive prices to government departments. At present, goods, including computers, stationery and services, are on the platform and the government plans to widen it by April 2017.
As per estimates, the government procures goods worth Rs 10,000 crore per year for various departments and ministries. The portal is helping fetch best prices, besides benefiting the buyer and the seller.
The directorate general of supplies and disposals (DGS&D) has developed the portal with the help of the department of electronics and IT.