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Distribution of Nepal’s national IDs to resume after the upgrade

KATHMANDU: Department of National ID Card and Civil Registration has stopped issuing national Identity cards to citizens after all the cards printed in the first phase were distributed.
According to the department, it had printed 117,000 national ID cards in the first phase. Among them, 110,000 were provided to the Panchthar locals and 7,000 to the employees of Singha Durbar.
“Distribution of the national ID cards will resume after upgrading the older ID printing machine as per the contract reached with the contract wining company IDEMIA Identity and Security, a French company,” Shivaraj Joshi, director and spokesperson at the Department said.
“At present, we are engaged in upgrading capacity of the present machine as this machine can print 500 units of cards per hour,” Joshi said. At the beginning, the department had installed an American printing machine and other software at a cost of Rs. 40 million through an international bid.
Most probably, the department will start distributing the national ID cards after the upcoming Dashain festival that falls in mid-October, Joshi said.
“We don’t have to purchase a new machine to print the smart national ID cards as the earlier contract wining company (IDEMIA) had agreed to upgrade the present machine and make it capable to print 1,000 ID cards per hour,” he said.
According to the second agreement reached with IDEMIA a month ago, the company will provide both the hardware installation and software parts at Rs. 130 million, Joshi said.
According to him, the department has been preparing to enrol Nepali citizens for registration of national ID from 15 districts. The district include- Jhapa and Sankhuwasabh of State-1, Saptari and Mahottari of State-2, Lalitpur, Rasuwa and Chitwan of State-3, Tanahun and Syangja of Gandaki State, Kapilvastu and Gulmi of State-5, Salyan and Jumla of State-6, and Kanchanpur and Achham of State-7.
He, however, said that the department has to take its human resources across the country after the Federal government ordered the department to start enrolment of all the citizens from 77 districts.
The government has vowed to complete issuing the national ID cards to every citizen within next two years.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties present at the meeting of State Affairs and Good Governance Committee under the Federal parliament on August 9, had instructed the government to stop distributing the national ID cards to citizens without introducing National ID Act first.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ had registered the National Identity Card and Civil Registration Bill in the Parliament Secretariat on January 5. The bill was sent to the State Affairs Committee for clause-wise discussion on February 3.

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