Kathmandu, April 28 The government has moved ahead the stalled process of preparing national identity cards (biometric smart cards) for all Nepali citizens after the Public Account Committee of the Legislature Parliament today allowed the government to move ahead the remaining process. The PAC had put the bid validity process on hold for around five months, as it was pointed out that letting a foreign company deal with technical part of issuing the card could have grave security implications for Nepal. The smart card will have basic information about the citizen inscribed on it, in addition to a chip embedded in the card. The chip will have detailed personal information of the person that can be used in an election and for withdrawing money from a bank account, as per the government’s plan. “The bidding process was stopped on the instruction of the parliamentary committee. After the panel allowed to move the process ahead today, the government got an approval from Asian Development Bank to extend the bid validity process, as the validity period is expiring on Saturday,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, Executive Director of National ID Management Centre. It will take up to one month to complete the bid evaluation process and ink a contract with the selected company to prepare 1,17,000 cards by January 2018, according to Bhattarai. ADB had agreed to provide a grant of $8 million to install the technical equipment to prepare 1,17,000 cards in the first phase. The government has planned to prepare the remaining cards in the second phase and provide the cards to all people holding citizenship certificates within five years, according to Bhattarai. “As it will have all fingers’ prints and details of official records of a person, it will be the central data bank of the citizens of the country,” he said. Before allowing the government to proceed the remaining process, the PAC had formed a five-member sub-panel headed by PAC member Ramhari Khatiwada to look into the complaints and the sub-panel had submitted its report nearly two months ago, suggesting that the process should move ahead after the government ensures a secure system. The PAC directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and National ID Management Centre to proceed with the process of acquiring information about citizens and ensure security of the data following today’s committee meeting. PM KP Sharma Oli told the House that the process to prepare National ID Card should move at the fastest speed.
Process to prepare national IDs re-starts
Published: 02:01 am Apr 29, 2016