Kathmandu, August 27
The House of Representatives today endorsed the National Identity Card and Civil Registration Bill.
The parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee had endorsed the bill on August 15.
The bill contains the provision for national identity cards that include dozens of information, including biometric data, of citizens.
The bill will now be forwarded to the National Assembly for approval. After endorsement from both the houses, the bill will be sent to the President’s Office for certification.
“There will be different ID cards for foreigners residing in Nepal and Non-Resident Nepalis,” Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa today told lawmakers in the HoR. As per the provisions in the bill, the government will now have to collect general and biometric information of foreigners and NRNs as prescribed by the regulation.
National ID cards will have two sets of information for Nepali citizens — information on the card (outside) and information inside the card. Information on the card will include name of the concerned person, his/her surname, date of birth, gender, nationality, ID card number, photo, issued date, name and signature of the issuing authority, permanent address, type of citizenship card and citizenship card number (if obtained).
Information stored in the electronic chip installed inside the card include name of the concerned person, his/her surname, date of birth, gender, nationality, ID card number, photo, issued date and name and signature of the issuing authority, permanent address, type of citizenship and citizenship card number, biometric information, names of parents, names of grand parents and name of spouse.
Those who have obtained citizenship cards and those who are eligible to obtain citizenship cards can apply for the National ID card. The government will also issue National ID cards to children.
The government will also collect general and biometric information of foreigners and NRNs. Information of those who are working in diplomatic missions, tourists and NRNs will be obtained by the government.
The government had already started distributing National ID cards in the country a month ago. It stopped distributing ID cards following criticism from the main opposition Nepali Congress in the House. This prompted the government and the panel to initiate clause-wise discussion of the bill.
The government will draft a procedure under the bill for obtaining general and digital information, including bio-metrics. Although, the national ID card has more than dozen bits of information, it will not replace the citizenship card or other public documents.
A version of this article appears in print on August 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.