Nepal moves closer to approving biometric national ID card bill

A Nepali government committee has approved the National Identity and Civil Registration Bill, which would mandate the issuance of a biometric national ID card, as well as separate biometric registries and ID cards for foreign residents of Nepal and Non-Resident Nepalis, The Himalayan Times reports.

Now that the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance committee has endorsed the Bill, it is expected to go through the legislative process in the lower and upper houses in the near future, and become law on final approval from the president’s office. Biographic information and a card number are proposed to be printed on the ID card, while the embedded electronic chip will include a photograph, biographic and biometric information. The card does not replace Nepal’s citizenship card or other government documents.

Nepal’s government has previously changed the roll-out plans to provide the cards, which are supplied by Idemia, and has been trying to pass the legislation supporting the project since January.

The government began distributing national ID cards a month ago, but suspended the program after criticism from the main opposition party in the House of Representatives.

The government is also expected to draft a procedure for collecting biometric and other information under the bill.

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