Bangladesh plans to introduce ‘fee’ for NID services for expatriates

The authorities are set to table its plans to the Election Commission for scrutinising and determining the fee, Brig Gen Mohammad Sidul Islam, director-general of National Identity Registration Wing, said in a virtual media briefing on Thursday.

The NID wing has already received 730 applications from the four countries in which it has opened the NID service.

The coronavirus pandemic broke out right after the wing took an initiative to enrol expatriate Bangladeshis to vote online in November, said Islam.

As of now, the authorities have received 48 applications from Malaysia, 39 from Saudi Arabia, 530 from the United Arab Emirates and 121 from the United Kingdom, he added.

In order to issue smart cards overseas, the authorities still need to implement several measures and to expedite the process, migrants have urged the government to apply a fee for the services, according to him.

Citizens in the country received their NID smartcards for free when it was first introduced. The government subsequently fixed a fee for services like correction or drawing a duplicate card.

“Our expatriates said they don’t want anything for free but want to pay for it. Therefore, only a token fee will be applied,” the director-general said.

“The amount collected will not go to the commission fund but to the national treasury. The commission will discuss the issue in its next meeting on Sept 28.”

The NID service was introduced in Malaysia for migrant Bangladeshis in November last year. Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda inaugurated the service in the UK in February.

To register as a voter, migrants can fill up a form online at services.nidw.gov.bd.

The initiative to collect ‘biometric’ information through the embassies hit a snag after the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The authorities plan to resume the NID service abroad soon.

Applications from migrants are being scrutinised, said the EC officials.

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