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Bhutan’s digital ID bill scales through National Assembly amid accountability concerns

Bhutan’s digital ID bill scales through National Assembly amid accountability concerns
 

Members of the National Assembly of Bhutan on Monday June 19 overwhelmingly voted in favour the National Identity Bill which had been on their table for examination.

As Bhutan Broadcasting Service reports, the adoption of the bill by all 42 members of the National Assembly present during the session, represents a major step forward in the country’s walk towards a digital society.

The adoption notwithstanding, some lawmakers raised concerns over the nature of the financial penalties which the bill prescribes for damages caused by members of the Governing and Administrative bodies of the ID management body affecting natural or legal persons. The lighter penalties for governing bodies may not lead to the intended level of accountability members of the National Assembly warned.

With the National Assembly having okayed the bill, the rest of the responsibility has now been passed to the National Council for further scrutiny of the legislation, writes The Bhutan Live.

At the National Council, which is the upper chamber of Bhutan’s bicameral parliament, the bill will be examined, refined and adjusted, if need be, to make sure that it sits well with the objectives of the ID system.

The legislation seeks to lay the legal framework for Bhutan’s digital ID ecosystem which the government says will facilitate the way citizens have access to critical government and private sector services.

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