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Government's e-commerce portal directs sellers to specify product's country of origin

The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) on Tuesday made it mandatory for sellers to specify the country of origin while registering all new products on the marketplace. Moreover, all sellers who have already added their products on the marketplace have been asked to update the country of the origin and a warning has been issued stating that products will be delisted if the country of origin is not updated.

The move assumes significance as the Centre has been trying to push the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' campaign to promote locally-produced goods and the growing chorus against goods sourced from China in the backdrop of India-China border clash. The government, in a release dated June 23, has said the decision has been taken to promote ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. In addition to the country of origin, the e-marketplace has a provision where sellers can list the percentage of local content in products. With this new feature, now, the country of origin, as well as the local content percentage, are visible in the marketplace for all items.

"A ‘Make in India’ filter has also been enabled on the portal. Buyers can choose to buy only those products that meet the minimum 50 percent local content criteria," the Commerce and Industry Ministry said.

According to the public procurement norms, which were amended by the government earlier this month, the suppliers are categorised into various classes depending on the level of local content in their goods. The GeM portal will now allow buyers to reserve any bid for Class I local suppliers, which have more than 50 percent local content. According to the rules, for bids below Rs 200 crore, only Class I and Class II (Local content more than 50 percent 20 percent respectively) are eligible to bid, with Class I supplier getting purchase preference.

The purchases through GeM by government users have been authorised and made mandatory by the Ministry of Finance by adding a new Rule No. 149 in the General Financial Rules, 2017.

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