Government’s online procurement platform, Government e Marketplace (GeM), might offer a business-to-consumer (B2C) retail option along the lines of Amazon or Flipkart.
"We will set a benchmark for online marketplaces. We plan to make it an ideal platform," an official familiar with the development told Economic Times.
GeM was launched on August 9, 2016, replacing the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) with an aim to bring more transparency to the procurement process.
At present, GeM allows only government departments and public sector units to buy from the portal. The market place offers more than a million products and around 15,000 services, hosts over 260,000 sellers, and its clients are 37,000 government organisations, both Central and state, the ET report added.
The transformation to a B2C online marketplace will be in three stages, another official said.
"The final road map is under discussion...but the idea is to open up procurement to all in a phased manner," he said.
In the first phase, private entities with government work contracts will be able to buy from GeM. Currently, government departments have to do the purchase themselves and then the work is executed by the contractor.
The next change will be allowing private entities to buy products in bulk for their own use.
The final stage will open GeM to individual buyers.
The commerce ministry is also evaluating a monetisation model and may collect user charges from merchants for listing on the portal.