INTEGRATION OF PROCUREMENT PORTALS

Recently, the Department of Food and Public Distribution has developed an application ecosystem for integration of procurement portals of all state governments.

Important points:

  • The Application Ecosystem will allow the integration of procurement portals of all state governments having Minimum Threshold Parameters (MTPs) for monitoring and strategic decision making.
  • The introduction of MTPs in procurement operations are necessitated to avoid middlemen in procurement and ensure that farmers get the best value for their produce.
  • MTPs will ensure uniformity and interoperability among the states.
  • The MTPs are five key details which states are required to capture in their procurement portals, which are related to online registration, farmer data, digitized mandi and procurement, and billing.
  • The integration of state portals with the central portal will go a long way in expediting the reconciliation of procurement figures with States and release of funds by the Centre Government to the States.

Challenges

  • Due to variations in the procurement systems, there emerge both systemic and implementation challenges for implementing the schemes of the central government.
  • Reconciliation of the procurement operations with various states is sometimes a long-drawn exercise, leading to delays in the release of funds to states.
  • Moreover, the non-standard procurement operations also lead to avoidable inefficiencies, which manifest in the form of middlemen in the procurement operations.
  • There is no pan-India standard procurement ecosystem for monitoring and strategic decision making.
  • Standardization of the operations are essential in helping the country achieve greater levels of transparency and efficiency in procurement operations, which ultimately lead to ensuring food security for the people of the country.
  • Farmers: Will be able to sell their produce at suitable prices and avoid distress sale.
  • Procuring Agencies: With better management of procurement operations, the State agencies and Food Corporation of India will be able to procure efficiently with the limited resources at hand.
  • Other Stakeholders: The automation and standardization of procurement operations shall provide an integrated view of procurement of foodgrains and its storage in godowns.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES, MINT

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