NICDMC begins printing biometric smart ID cards

Kathmandu, November 1

National Identity Card Distribution Management Centre successfully tested its system to print biometric smart identity cards.

Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai switched the printing system today to mark the beginning of the important project. The go-live programme tested the efficacy of the printing of biometric and demographic details on smart cards.

NICDMC Information Officer Shivraj Joshi said the printing system functioned well without any error.  The NICDMC printed 384 biometric ID cards of the office bearers and staff of the federal government.

“France’s IBIMIA Identity and Security Company, which has been assisting us in technical work, will leave after December following which our own staff will have to take care of the technical system. Today’s testing proved that our staff are capable of handling the printing job,” he added.

This first phase programme, being supported by the Asian Development Bank, will end on December 31.

Joshi said the NICDMC would first start distribution of biometric smart ID cards from Panchthar district after Tihar. “We are trying to request a VIP to start distribution of biometric smart ID cards in Panchthar after Tihar,” he added.

The NICDMC is preparing to distribute biometric smart ID cards to 117,000 people after Tihar. In the first phase, the NICDMC will distribute biometric IDs to 110,000 people of Panchathar district and 7,000 government employees working in central offices in Kathmandu, including the Office of the President and Office of the Vice-president.

Joshi said in Kathmandu, the centre had collected biometric details from the staff and office bearers federal government offices, including the  Office of the President, Office of the Vice-president, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, Ministry of Land Reform and Management, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance, but the centre was  yet to collect biometric details from other federal ministries.

Joshi said the centre would start collecting biometric details of the office bearers and staff of various ministries in Kathmandu in a day or two and would probably finish collecting details in 15 days. The NICDMC will print all biometric smart ID cards from its Kathmandu office.

The centre has established multiple work stations in various places of Panchthar district to collect applications and to distribute biometric IDs.

NICDMC recently endorsed a three-year strategic plan with a view to start distributing biometric smart IDs to all Nepalis within next five years.

The centre will also start second phase of biometric smart ID card distribution within this fiscal in   15 districts — Jhapa, Sankhuwasabha, Saptari, Mahottari, Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Chitwan,  Tanahun, Syangja, Kaplivastu, Gulmi, Jumla, Salyan, Kanchanpur and Achham.

In the third phase the government will carry out the programme in 25 districts and in the fourth phase in 36 districts.

In the first phase, the ADB has provided a grant assistance of Rs 480 million. The idea of distributing biometric smart ID cards to all citizens was first mooted eight years ago in the budget speech.