Everyone under 14 to get smart card !

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved seven projects involving Tk 10,687 crore, including a Tk 1,805-crore one to provide all citizens, aged above 14, with smart national identity cards, reports UNB.

The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room. Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting joining it from Ganobhaban through a videoconference.

“Today’s meeting approved a total of seven development projects placed by the Prime Minister’s Office and four ministries. The total estimated cost of the seven projects is Tk 10,687.03 crore,” said Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam while briefing reporters after the meeting.

Of the total cost, Tk 6,444.07 crore will be borne from the government’s fund, while the remaining Tk 4,242.96 crore will come from foreign sources as loan, he said. Among those, five projects are new while the two are revised ones.

Talking about the ‘Identification System for Enhancing Access to Services (IDEA) (Phase-II)’ Project, Planning Commission member Abul Kalam Azad said the Election Commission Secretariat will implement the project from December 2020 to November 2025 spending Tk 1,805.09 crore.

He said the new project has been taken as the running IDEA project’s period will expire in December next.

“Under the new project, all the citizens above 14 years of age will get smart NID cards. Besides, the Election Commission will send its teams to 40 largest host countries of expatriate Bangladeshis to enroll them in the voter list and provide them with NID services,” he said.

The major operations of the project include production and personalisation of smart cards, said Abul Kalam Azad.

He said the old equipment and technologies of the existing project will be used in the new project. So, the project cost will decline significantly.

“We’ve placed a recommendation at the meeting that the NID services can be brought under the revenue budget not keeping it under any project,” he said.

The government is considering whether all data registration activities including NID registration, birth and death registration and the registration activities carried out by Directorate General of Family Planning can be brought under a single entity, he added.

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