Why in news?
- The Union Government on January 14, 2019 launched the ‘Womaniya on Government e Marketplace (GeM)’, an initiative to enable women entrepreneurs and Women Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) to sell handicrafts, handloom, accessories, and other products directly to Government departments and institutions.
- The Womaniya on GeM initiative aims to develop women entrepreneurship on the margins of society to achieve gender-inclusive economic growth.
- India has approximately 500 million Internet users and nearly 54 percent of them are more than 25 years of age with higher discretionary income and likely to transact more online. Women constitute 33 percent or 143 million Internet users and control 44 percent of household spending in India.
- Nearly 80 percent women-owned establishments in India are self-financed and more than 60 percent of 8 million units are owned and led by women entrepreneurs from socially-challenged sections.
- Since women tend to invest up to 90 percent of their earnings back in their families to provide better nutrition, health care and education to their children, their economic empowerment is essential for poverty alleviation which would be made possible through Womaniya initiative.
- Womaniya on GeM will spur hyper-local economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs and address goals and objectives under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- Products like handicrafts and handloom, accessories, jute and coir products, home decor and office furnishings are categorised for ease-in-procurement.
- The initiative aligns with Government’s initiatives for MSMEs, especially to reserve 3 percent in government procurement from women entrepreneurs.
Government e Marketplace:
- Government e Marketplace is a 100 percent government owned company setup under the aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry for procurement of common use goods and services by Government ministries, departments and CPSEs.
- GeM was setup in 2016 and has 731,431 product categories, with 180,862 registered sellers and 32,114 government buyers.
- Since inception, GeM has processed 1,171,761 orders worth Rs 16,976 crores in gross merchandise value. The platform offers online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all central government departments and state governments, public sector units and affiliated bodies.
- It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption.