Make in India filter debuts on govt e-commerce site to ban Chinese goods

Make in India is no longer just a slogan, it has become an e-commerce site filter. In an important move, the government has introduced special filters on the government procurement portal Government E-Marketplace (GeM), which will tell the buyer about what is made in India and what is not, as well as the percentage of local content in each product listed. This filter will soon be introduced on private e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart.

GM has issued directives for all sellers to mention 'Country of Origin' when registering new products. In the case of already uploaded products, the relevant sellers are asked to update the country of origin. If they fail to do so, they will be removed from a key government procurement portal.

This is not all. Buyers can choose products that meet at least 50 percent local content standards.

Registered sellers with products with 50 percent local content are classified as Class 1 local suppliers. Sellers list Class II local suppliers of marketing products with 20-50 percent local content.

The department and government agencies that place bids worth over Rs 200 crore in GM will be given priority to first-class suppliers. And these bids are open to only two categories of suppliers.

The stated purpose of the move is to promote Prime Minister Modi's pet, Atmanibhar Bharat Abhiyan. But the Make in India filter helps buyers make the choice they have learned.

Because of the public sentiment against China due to the border blockade, the filter may create psychological deterrence against the purchase of Chinese goods and stimulate buyers to make Indian products.

The GM portal has been launched by all central and state departments and ministries, central public sector enterprises (CPSE), and central paramilitary forces (CPMF) to purchase products and services online from office stationery to official vehicles.

GM launched as a single window for a whole range of products and vendors competing to improve cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and transparent procurement. The platform has helped state governments, departments, and government agencies in the past three months to procure many products needed to fight Kovid-19, the government said.

GM has also begun the government procurement process for smaller local players.

Make in India Filter on Amazon, Flipkart

A top source at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that the Make in India filter on the GM site is only one step. Soon, e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart, with 70 percent of their inventory originating from China, could be asked to create such filters, according to ministry sources. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIT) is expected to meet representatives of e-com sites soon to discuss the issue.

For the past two years, there has been a strong demand for products on e-commerce platforms to display the Made in India label. But now the government is under intense pressure. Following the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galvan sector, RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Munch is seeking decisive action on Chinese goods.

Speaking to India Today TV on Tuesday, Swadeshi Jagran Manch said, "Swadeshi Jagran Manch welcomes the decision taken by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. According to Rule 153 (3) of the Government of India's General Financial Regulations, created in 2017, the government should only buy Make In India products." The sellers did not mention the country's origin, and the rules were not followed. "
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