Afghanistan – Govt Given 90 Days To Roll Out Electronic ID Card System

By | March 29, 2017

Humayoun Mohtat, Director of Biometric Identity Cards Issuing Authority (BICIA), on Wednesday said at a process conference that government has given them 90 days to start issuing electronic identity cards to the public.

Mohtat said BICIA will start by hiring staff, including technical teams, and will implement the preliminary phase in Kabul.

“Soon we will announce our hiring process and we will give opportunities to our previous employees that were already trained, and who we invested in,” he said adding that testing the electronic ID card system would however take about six months.

“500,000 Afghans have already been identified and will receive the national identity cards in the first phase. Thirty teams of 13 members each will work on testing the e-NIC card system,” he said.

According to Mohtat, the BICIA will launch the rollout in Kabul through ten ministries, and five e-NIC centers, as well as at an Afghan embassy outside the country.

He said that 36 particulars of each person will be entered into the data base, of which eight will be printed on the card.

The budget for the initial phase will amount to $4.2 million USD, which will be covered by the Ministry of Finance, he added.

He stressed that the National Unity Government (NUG) is committed to rolling out this process.

When asked how the system will be rolled out in remote and insecure parts of the country, Mohtat said: “We will have mobile teams in remote areas. We will try to have mobile teams outside of insecure areas so that our people can come and get their e-IDs.”

In early March, President Ashraf Ghani approved the amended draft of the Census Law authorizing the printing of the word “Afghan” on the electronic ID cards as the “nationality and ethnicity” of the holder of the card.

The long-debated matter was considered a potential hurdle for the electronic rollout.

The amendments to Article Six of the Census Law were recommended by the Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish last year when he started presiding over the Laws Committee of Ghani’s cabinet.

The issuing of the electronic identity cards is deemed as a major step towards holding transparent and fair elections in the country.

Earlier this month the e-NIC department said the politicization of the word “Afghan” was the reason for the suspension of the identity card rollout process.

The department said at least $70 million USD has been spent on the process so far.

Source: Tolo News