Government e-Marketplace (GeM) – Need, Structure, Benefits, Challenges

Government e-Marketplace (GeM), launched in August 2016 by the commerce Ministry is a one-stop portal to facilitate online procurement of Goods & Services which are in common use by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs. Its objective is to create an open and transparent procurement platform for government departments. In the recent Union Budget, the Finance Minister informed that the GeM has clocked the transaction of Rs 40,000 crore. The minister in her 2020-21 Budget speech said that the government aspires to increase the turnover of the GeM portal to Rs 3 lakh crore.

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Disinvestment of Public Sector Units (PSUs) in India – Pros and Cons

The government has set a disinvestment target for 2020-2021 to Rs.2.10 lakh crore, having failed to achieve the current fiscal year’s target of Rs.1.05 lakh crore. It hopes to achieve the unmet target of this fiscal year in the next fiscal year. A large part is likely to come from the sale of stakes in Life Insurance Corporation and IDBI bank. However, the strategy of how this target is going to be achieved is absent. Nevertheless, selling off stakes from high return public enterprises like LIC can ensure the achievement of targets set by the government. Achieving this alone is not enough. The government must use these earnings not to pay off its loans or achieve its fiscal deficit target but to reinvest in aspects that ensure improvement in economic growth and sustainable returns.

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Goods and Services Tax (GST): All You Need to Know

The recent report of the Union comptroller and auditor general (CAG) on the goods and services tax (GST) does praise its rollout as a landmark achievement. Notably, the revenue obtained from the GST in July 2019 stood at Rs.1.02 lakh crore. This is a 5.8% hike when compared to the GST revenue collected during the same month last year. However, the CAG also points out several deficiencies in its implementation.

Fiscal Council – Need, Issues, Way Ahead

The fiscal situation in India has been under severe stress even before the pandemic and the coronavirus crisis has only exacerbated it. Amid the unprecedented global economic crisis due to the pandemic, there is a growing demand for the government to return to a credible fiscal consolidation path once the predicament subsides. For this to happen, a fiscal council that provides unbiased advice on aspects of fiscal policy is a need of the hour.

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