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EC plans to issue laminated IDs to meet demand

11 June 2017 bdnews24.com

The Election Commission or EC plans to issue laminated national ID cards rather than smartcards due to high demand.
EC officials say the NID wing office is flooded every day with citizens seeking the ID cards because they are required to make use of several important services, such as opening bank accounts, getting a mobile phone SIM and utility services.
The Bangladesh Public Service Commission has recently made NID cards mandatory for those who want to take civil service exams.
Given the situation, the NID wing has proposed to issue laminated NID cards, its Director (Operations) Abdul Baten told bdnews24.com.
Officials said, they will start the process of distributing the laminated cards to 11.7 million voters as soon as the EC clears the matter.
In 2014, the EC agreed to a Tk 8 billion deal with French company Oberthur Technologies to produce and distribute 90 million smartcards.
After several delays, the distribution of the smartcards began in 2016. Now the number of voters has also increased to 101.7 million.
NID wing official Baten says the citizens who have been added to the data base since 2014 received neither laminated ID cards nor smartcards.
"Without the ID cards, they face several problems. Also, those who need to update their information cannot proceed without the cards," he told bdnews24.com.
Baten says old laminated cards could serve as a plausible solution to the problem.
According to the Election Working Group, a platform of 28 polls observers, voters' info in the electoral roll, used in the polls held in 2015 and 2016, were 90 percent accurate.
The NID wing chief, however, says voters can correct their information without the ID cards.
"It can be done at the Upazila Election Offices," Director General Md Saidul Islam said. He added that the receipt provided by the NID wing, along with the required fees and documents, is enough for applications to update voters' information.

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