All services related to the national identity (NID) cards are going under the Security Services Division of the Home Affairs Ministry instead of the Election Commission (EC).
The government is moving forward to enact the ‘National Identity Registration Act, 2022’ in order to bring the NID registration operation under the Security Services Division from the EC.
The law is being enacted also aiming to introduce a unique identity number for every Bangladeshi citizen in the future. All the children of the country will also get NID cards after they are born. The unique number of birth certificates will be carried forward as the NID number of newborns.
The Cabinet on Monday (October 10) approved the draft of ‘National Identity Registration Act, 2022’. The approval came from the regular cabinet meeting held with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said that the decision was taken to bring NID registration under the Security Services Division of the Home Affairs Ministry, which handles the passport operation. There would ultimately be a unique identity against each citizen of the country.
Speaking at a press briefing after the meeting, Khandker Anwarul Islam said that birth registration number of a person will be used in his/her passport, NID and other documents.
He also said that now the decision has been taken to bring the NID registration under the supervision of the government as the original concept of the Election Commission (EC), which was floated in December in 1996, was the preparation of voter cards not NID cards. “The basic concept was related to elections,” he added.
The EC currently conducts the NID registration operation and issues NID cards against citizens aged 18 or above since 2007 as per the National Identity Registration Act, 2010.
“The Cabinet Secretary said the Security Services Division placed the draft law in the Cabinet. The draft law has been approved in principle. But the condition is that the Legislative Division will consult with all the concerned,” he said.
He also said the Legislative Division was asked to review the draft law on the basis of the existing law as much as possible and bring it against adding just a few clauses if needed.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office has earlier instructed the cabinet division to take necessary steps to shift NID related services to the Security Services Division. A copy of the PMO letter was also sent to the Election Commission Secretariate.
The NID cards with photographs was launched in 2007-2008 as part of updating the voter list.