Govt procures coronavirus medical items worth Rs 159cr

Govt procures coronavirus-related medical items worth Rs 159 crore through GeM

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Public procurement worth Rs 159 crore of coronavirus-related medical products took place between March 23 and April 23 through the government's online marketplace GeM, an official said on Tuesday.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has added about 146 medical products like thermal scanners and disinfectants and certain services on its dedicated page with a view to help the government fight the COVID-19 pandemic, GeM Chief Executive Officer Talleen Kumar said.

He said GeM created a dedicated page on its platform last month, where it has created several categories for medical supplies and services like temporary hospital and isolation facilities or wards for COVID-19 asymptomatic and mild-symptoms patients, ICU facility or ward for the patients and basic facility for such patients.

"Transactions post March 23 till April 23 in COVID-19 medical categories stood at Rs 159 crore through 10,000 orders," he added.

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The top categories that are in demand are alcohol-based hand sanitisers, air pollution mask, ICU ventilator and surgical disposables.

The portal has fixed shorter duration bids with a shorter delivery period for specific categories.

The dedicated page has also provided features to shorten the procurement cycle for related items.

The commerce ministry launched GeM, an online platform for public procurement, in August 2016 with the objective of creating an open and transparent procurement platform for government, which runs in several lakh crores.

Currently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and Central Armed Police Forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal.

The portal provides a wide range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are currently the top product categories. Services, including transportation, logistics, waste management, webcasting and analytical, are listed on the portal.