The Commerce Ministry has started the process of shutting down the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals.
The over 100-year-old government procurement arm will be closed in this fiscal.
The Commerce Ministry's e-market platform (GeM) has been managing the public procurement of goods and services since last year.
Before closing, the ministry has to decide upon the issues concerning manpower, land and office spaces of the directorate, which are present all over the country.
Currently, the directorate has four regional offices including Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It has 12 Purchase Directorates (Commodity-wise) at its headquarters here. Besides, there are 20 offices and sub centres and the staff strength is over 1,200.
DGS&D has its origin in the India Stores Department, which was established in 1860 in London for purchase of imported stores.
In 1922, India Stores Department was established in India to arrange purchases for Government Civil Departments and Military Purchases. In 1951, the set-up of Purchase and Inspection was reorganised and DGS&D was constituted, in its present form, to handle all government purchases centrally.
A minor restructuring happened in 1974, when defence and railways were allowed to procure items meant for their exclusive use.
The directorate has two professional service cadres -- Indian Supply Service and Indian Inspection Service.