The Election Commission (EC) is set to have in place the provisions for making online applications for National ID.
It’s currently formulating the regulations for issuing digitised ‘smart cards’ instead of the old laminated ones.
The EC proposes issuing these cards free-of-cost, but has fixed a fee of Tk 250 for their renewal.
“The law ministry has prepared the draft for vetting. It has sent back some matters for further evaluation,” the EC’s joint secretary (legal wing) Mohammad Shahjahan bdnews24.com.
He said that the law ministry had advised a consultation with the finance ministry on the issue of fee.
“The draft may be sent back in this month after another meeting with the law ministry.”
In the budget proposal for 2014-15 FY, the finance minister AMA Muhith allocated Tk 7.28 billion for nine projects including the digitised smart cards programme.
The present NID cards, valid for 15 years, have the owners’ names, their parents’ names, date of birth, and ID numbers on one side and the residential addresses on the other.
The EC and the World Bank had reached an agreement two years ago on the production and distribution of the new cards.
The ATM Shamsul Huda-led EC in 2007 started preparing voter lists with photos and handing out NIDs with army help.
Last year, the National ID Amendment Bill was passed, making it mandatory to give each voter an identity proof.
As a result, those below 18 years of age can now have NIDs.
According to the proposed regulation, renewal fee for NIDs has been set at Tk 250 for a regular delivery within 30 days. In case of emergency delivery within a week, the proposed fee is Tk 500.
In case of loss or theft of a new card for the first time, the EC proposes a replacement fee between Tk 500 and Tk 1,000, For a second replacement, the proposed fee could be anything between Tk 1,000 and Tk 2,000.
For a further application for new cards, the regular fee is proposed at Tk 2000 while for emergency delivery Tk 4,000.
“We want to start the process of issuing smart cards as soon as possible. The process of amending the law and issuing work order has already started,” said the director general of the National Identity Registration Division, Brig Gen Sultanuzzaman Md Saleh Uddin.
“If not by the end of this year, we hope to deliver smart cards by the beginning of the next year,” he said.
Bangladesh has over 92 million registered voters. Nearly a million are yet to collect their NIDs.