PAC directs govt to forward national identity card issuing process

Kathmandu, April 28: The meeting of the Public Account Committee (PAC) under the Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to forward the whole process of issuing the National Identity Cards distribution process.

The meeting has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue the cards soon considering the national security and the need of the hour. The committee gave the direction after deeper analysis over the complaint on the irregularity reportedly surfaced in card printing process.

Most of the lawmakers in the meeting suggested the government to print the cards by purchasing the printing machines in the country even to maintain the security.

The lawmakers urged the government to clarify the process and mechanism of issuing the cards and materials used in it as the process delayed for long.

Though the process was begun in 2013, no notable progress was seen so far. Lawmakers Hari Nepal, Bikas Lamsal urged the government to manage the printing process inside the country by using Nepali technicians.

Similarly, lawmakers Usha Gurung, Amrit Lal Rajbanshi and Dhanraj Gurung opined for issuing the cards soon keeping the national security in the centre adding that such card system was essential to control the crimes and irregularities.

Various six companies expressed their interest in the bidding announced internationally for the printing of cards by the National Identity Card Management Centre in April, 2013.

Of them, the France-based company Morpho and a Holland-based company were shortlisted, but the companies not placed in a shortlist challenged selection process, citing the lack of transparency in it and moved the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, National Vigilance Centre and the Public Account Committee against the short listing that pushed the Centre’s decision into controversy.

The Centre had the plan of distributing national identity cards to 117,000 people in the first phase in one and half year of the signing of the contract with the selected company.

In the committee meeting, Minister for Home Shakti Bahadur Basnet said security aspects concerning the printing of identity card will be fully guaranteed.

Home Secretary Narayan Gopal Malego and Nepal Police Inspector General Upendrakant Aryal were also present in the meeting. RSS