In a bid to promote online procurement and hiring of buses in the capital, the Union Ministry of Commerce has directed the Delhi Chief Secretary to ensure that all purchases are made through Government e-Marketplace (GeM) — an online portal meant for purchasing and selling goods and services.
In a letter dated December 17 to Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan requested him to issue necessary instructions to officers concerned, specifically to the managing director of the state road transport authority and transport secretary to procure the vehicles required from GeM. Dev did not respond to calls and messages from The Indian Express.
The letter further states that the automobiles available on GeM are at discounted rates, ranging from 12-20% as compared to market rates. “This discount is not available when purchase (is made) outside GeM through bid or special government prices. The discounted rates are a huge saving to state exchequer,” Wadhawan, who is also the GeM chairperson, said.
The letter has been issued as a circular and sent to all secretaries, principal secretaries, HODs, autonomous bodies and corporations on January 8 for implementation. However, not many are aware of the development.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told The Indian Express that he is yet to see the order. Sources in the transport department said that the circular will not affect the government’s way of procuring buses.
“About 3,000 buses have been approved to be engaged with the government, of which the tendering process of 1,000 buses has been done. We only give the technical qualifications that should be kept in mind while purchasing/ hiring the buses. The contractor has to make the purchases; the state department has nothing much to do with it,” said a senior official from the transport department.
Manoj Yadav, Chief Managing Director, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), said: “I will have to check about the circular. But we will have to see whether the vehicle we want is available on the portal or not. We are procuring whatever is already accessible on GeM.”
Delhi has around 5,500 buses currently, as against the requirement of 11,000 mandated by the Supreme Court. Apart from 1,000 e-buses, the Delhi government is in the process of acquiring 1,000 standard-floor and 1,000 low-floor CNG buses.
C K Goyal, assistant vice-president of the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System — which has been appointed as a consultant for procuring 1,000 low floor e-buses in Delhi — said: “I am not aware of the communication yet. I will have to check with the department tomorrow.”
Managed by the Government of India, the GeM facilitates online procurement of common-use goods and services required by various government departments/organisations/PSUs.