|KATHMANDU: The Canadian consultant hired to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the multi-million-dollar National Identity Card scheme has submitted the document to the government.
The DPR, which states that photos taken by the Election Commission for voter ID cards could be used for the new national cards, has been forwarded to the Cabinet for further discussion on various aspects such as budget required and the type of card to be used, according to sources at the National Identity Card Management Centre.
“The consultant has submitted the DPR. We are and now working on the details to invite bids. We are also holding discussions with stakeholders,” said Narendra Dahal, executive director of the centre.
The government had announced that it will issue four lakh multi-purpose biometric ID cards in the first phase this fiscal. Two years ago, the Cabinet agreed to issue the National ID cards, which are to eventually replace the current citizenship cards, to all citizens.
The government, with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank, had hired Canada-based international smart card consultant Ardaman Singh Kholi to prepare the DPR for the scheme over a year ago.
The centre has been dwelling on the quality of finger prints collected by the EC to determine whether it is suitable for use in the proposed biometric cards.
A source said authorities still have reservations about EC-collected fingerprints.
“The quality of photographs can meet the standard. However, the DPR recommends that a new photo be taken when a person comes to collect the new card,” said the source.
Meanwhile, the centre has expedited work on personalisation centres for the project, which is yet to be approved by Law Minister Brijesh Kumar Gupta.
The minister had rejected the project draft bill and sent it back to the centre saying that political consensus was needed to proceed further.
Despite the rejection, Home Minister Bijaya Gachhadar had re-sent the bill to the law ministry stating that the national ID project was of utmost importance to the country.
“We are doing our part for the project. The bill needs to be passed so that we can take it to the next stage,” Dahal further said.
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