Nepal | May 25, 2020

Citizens’ enrolment for national identity cards to start next month

Himalayan News Service
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  • NICMC has stationed required staff in the recently set up offices in 15 districts

Kathmandu, June 20

National Identity Card Management Centre of the home ministry is preparing to start citizens’ registration for biometric national identity cards in all districts from July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

The NICMC has set up its offices in 15 districts to enrol citizens for national identity cards from this month. According to Director General of NICMC  Dipendra Kafle, 15 districts where the NICMC has set up its offices for registration include Jhapa, Sankhuwasabha, Lalitpur, Rasuwa, Chitwan, Tanahun, Syangja, Gulmi, Kapilvastu, Salyan, Jumla, Kanchanpur and Achham. The centre has all the required staff in these 15 districts.  Kafle said the centre would print ID cards only when the Parliament okayed the design of the cards.

Lawmakers had expressed worry in the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives in February saying that around Rs 7.5 billion that would be spent on the National Identity Card Project may go down the drain, as the biometric cards would only serve the government’s purpose of maintaining a central database of citizens and not linking the state’s service to be provided to them.

Kafle said the centre was working as per the government’s plan to distribute national ID cards to all citizens in the next two years. “The government made it clear in the budget speech that it would distribute ID cards in two years and this card would replace all other ID cards,” he added.

He said lawmakers were discussing the design of the ID card in the Parliament and the NICMC would be ready to implement any design endorsed by lawmakers.

The NICMC will soon allow people to enter the required data for registration online. “The Cabinet has already endorsed online registration. This means a citizen can fill application online from any corner of the world,” he added. He said the centre was moving ahead as per its plan although it had not foreseen all the problems that it might have to encounter in future.

The government started distribution of national identity cards from Panchthar district in November as a pilot project with support of the Asian Development Bank.


A version of this article appears in print on June 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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