Home Affairs Dept to become national ID-issuing authority in Bangladesh
National ID cards in Bangladesh (NIDs) will henceforth be issued by the country’s Department of Home Affairs and no longer the Election Commission.
This follows a cabinet decision arrived at early this week to approve the text of the National Identity Registration Act 2023, according to The Daily Star.
The law takes the responsibility of ID enrollment away from the Election Commission which had held the role since 2006 when the country started issuing ID cards. Biometrics were introduced onto the cards in 2016, though some in the country have advocated for fingerprint biometrics to be included, in addition to photos.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the cabinet meeting on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain said with the new legislation, national digital ID cards will be issued by the Register’s Office, a unit under the Security Services Division of the Home Affairs Ministry.
According to the official, the new ID system entails the assignment of a unique National Identification Number (NIN) to all citizens, including children, and that number will be their unique identifier all through their life. Hossain said the unique number will put an end to the current confusion where citizens obtain different ID numbers from different organizations for different uses.
Once the ID issuance process begins, citizens who have attained the age of 18 will be eligible to enroll for and obtain one.
With the new system, the Election Commission will use data made available to it by the Registrar’s Office for the production of voters’ IDs, says Hossain.
The national ID card is a compulsory credential to have in Bangladesh.