Sunday, March 4, 2007

Expert body on voter ID card submits report - Cost estimated at Tk 385 crore

An expert committee has estimated that preparation of voter identity cards will cost about Taka 385 crore.The eight-member committee, constituted by the government to examine the proposals for introduction of voter identity cards, on Sunday submitted its report estimating a budget of Taka 385 crore for the ID cards which would be bio-metric and laminated.

According to sources close to the expert committee, the report recommended for creating a database of voter ID cards on a priority basis which could later be expanded to a national database for distribution of national identity cards.

The cost could be reduced by Taka 50 crore if a list with photographs is prepared and cards are not provided immediately, the report says.The report suggested that the ministry of home affairs could be the authority responsible for maintaining the database—a job so far done by the Election Commission.

The expert committee handed over the report to science and ICT adviser Tapan Chowdhury. The committee prepared the report incorporating all the ‘best proposals’ made by different institutions including the army, BUET, BASIS, BSC and a number of NGOs .

The committee, headed by Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, comprised secretary to the ministry of science and ICT Wahid-uz-Zaman, IT specialist Mostafa Jabbar, executive director of Bangladesh Computer Council and representatives from BUET, army and ministries concerned. It was formed on February 1 to conduct a feasibility study on the preparation of the voter ID cards.

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