Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday launched the onboarding of cooperatives on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
The move will allow cooperatives to procure through the GeM portal like other government buyers—Central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions and local bodies. It comes days after the Union Cabinet, on June 1, gave its approval for expanding the mandate of GeM to allow procurement by cooperatives as buyers on GeM. Till now only government buyers could procure through the GeM portal, and private sector buyers were not allowed to do so.
Addressing the gathering, Shah said that August 9 is a very important day in Indian history as Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Quit India Movement on this day in 1942. Today, another important work is being done as access to GeM has been given to cooperative societies in the country, Shah said.
The Home Minister said that there is immense potential in the cooperative sector and the GeM portal will be a very useful platform for its expansion. Shah asked the cooperatives to register themselves as a supplier on the GeM portal.
Most of the government departments buy through GeM, so cooperatives should also start preparing for registration for supply on GeM to increase their market, Shah said. He appealed to the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) to expand marketing of cooperatives and for this there can be no better way than the GeM.
Shah said that the cooperative sector has been “neglected” since Independence, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi is accelerating its expansion with “historic reforms and modernisation”. He listed the measures taken by the Modi government for expansion of the cooperative sector and said that his ministry has been “continuously” working on 25 to 30 initiatives.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Cooperation, Shah said that the government has to expand cooperatives but there is no database, therefore the ministry is also creating a national-level database of different categories of cooperatives.
Shah said that an export house is also being registered and the work will be completed by December, this year. “It will provide a platform for export from cooperatives across the country,” said the statement.
He said radical changes are also being made in the Multi-state Cooperative Act and the government has also decided to computerise all PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Society), according to the statement.