In a push to promote local products, the Union government has made it mandatory for all sellers on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a platform for public procurement, to list the Country of Origin while registering new products. Those who had uploaded products are getting regular warnings that they will be removed if the origin details are not updated.
The changes to the GeM, a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, are in line with the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India policies, an official statement said.
Buyers on the platform can now see the percentage of local content in various products. They can also switch on a new Make in India filter to see products that match their preferences on local content.
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For example, buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet a minimum 50% local content criteria. “In case of Bids, Buyers can now reserve any bid for Class I Local suppliers (Local Content > 50%). For those Bids below INR 200 crore, only Class I and Class II Local Suppliers (Local content > 50% and > 20% respectively) are eligible to bid, with Class I supplier getting purchase preference”, said the statement.
The Aatmanirbhar Bharat policy, introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is meant to encourage self-reliance and boost small Indian manufacturers. The policy changes also come at a time when there have been calls from some sections for a boycott of Chinese goods.