Over 21,000 products under 249 categories and 17 services such as security, transportation and IT professionals are now available on the government's e-marketplace (GeM).

According to a document of the commerce ministry, during August 2016 and April 30 this year, the total value of purchase made on GeM amounted to Rs.454 crore.

"We are adding more products and services to the portal.

Till 30 April, it has 21,036 items. We are also encouraging states to sign MoUs with GeM for procurement of goods and services," a ministry official said.

GeM was launched in August last year for online purchase of goods and services by various central government ministries and departments.

The portal covers the entire procurement process chain, right from vendor registration, item selection by buyer, supply order generation to online payment to vendor, the document said.

The move is aimed at bringing in more transparency and streamlining the government procurement, estimated at Rs.10,000 crore a year.

The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), under the ministry which manages this portal, is working on increasing more services by including areas like cleaning, third party inspection, digitisation of records and pest control.

Further, to make it an autonomous body, the government has decided to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV), a not for profit company, to operate GeM portal.

The GeM SPV would provide an end-to-end online marketplace for central and state government ministries, departments, Public Sector Undertakings, autonomous institutions and local bodies, for procurement of common use goods and services in a transparent and efficient manner.