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by Joseph K. Clark

Even for made-in-India products, the government said buyers could identify products with higher local content to make decisions accordingly.

Technology for MSMEs: Nearly a year after the Commerce Ministry said it enabled a provision for sellers on Government eMarketplace (GeM) to indicate the percentage of local content in products, the government has now warned of business losses for those who don’t declare the same while uploading their product and creating catalog on GeM. “Sellers who do not declare local content percentage while uploading product and creating catalog on GeM will lose out on business and will not be able to participate in bids in which buyer has chosen to procure only MII compliant products,” the ministry said.

Even for made-in-India products, the government said buyers could identify products with higher local content to make decisions accordingly. Also, buyers have been provided with a filter in the marketplace to identify and select products from amongst Make in India (MII) complaint sellers and products only.

“It is a gimmick as some companies are taking advantage by showing the Make in India certificate compared to those enterprises with MSME certificates and hence are original manufacturers. Through MII compliance, other enterprises benefit. Nobody checks how much local content they have in their products if they have an MII certificate. They are given a 25 percent price preference, while MSMEs are offered only 20 percent. If you are an MSME, you cannot have an MII certificate,” Janak Bhatia, Managing Director, Janak Positioning & Surveying Systems – manufacturer and distributor of survey instruments, told Financial Express Online. Bhatia is also the Uttar Pradesh state President for Laghu Udyog Bharati.

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The government also announced that a GeM SAHAY loan app is being rolled out for GeM sellers. The sellers would be able to apply for a loan at the point of acceptance of an order once the app is launched, and this would help cater to the working capital needs of sellers. “GeM is collaborating with the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) for the implementation of the GeM- SAHAY project, which has been tailored to meet the specific needs of MSMEs on the GeM platform,” the ministry added. It said that loan disbursement would be instantaneous through the app instead of the conventional in-principle approval of a loan that may often not culminate in an actual disbursal. The loans would be facilitated through public sector banks, private banks, and NBFCs.

GeM has over 6,90,000 MSE sellers contributing more than 56 percent of the total order value on GeM, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan told reporters on Wednesday. The number of MSEs registered on the GeM platform has jumped over 62 percent since FY20. Since its inception in August 2017, GeM has facilitated 67.27 lakh orders worth 111,113 crores from 18.85 lakh sellers for 52,275 government buyers. Moreover, 6,95,432 MSEs have fulfilled 56.13 percent of the total order value on GeM.

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