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30 million e-passports for citizens

  • Published at 01:48 am June 22nd, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:57 am June 22nd, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over the Ecnec meeting on Thursday Focus Bangla

The project has been approved with the aim of ensuring the security of the Bangladeshi passport, as well as its acceptability in other countries of the world

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Thursday approved a project to manufacture 30 million high-tech Electronic Passports (e-passports). 

The project has been approved with the aim of ensuring the security of the Bangladeshi passport, as well as its acceptability in other countries of the world.

E-passports contain an embedded electronic microprocessor chip with information on the holder. The e-passports will also boast 38 security features, including a holographic image embossed in thin film laminate. The e-passports will also change colour under light.

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the e-passport project will be implemented by the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) under the supervision of the Security Service Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.  

“Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) are going to become unacceptable in many countries because of security reasons. As such, we have taken up the e-passport project to meet international demands,” he added. 

According to the “Bangladesh e-passport and formulation of automated border control management” project proposal, the DIP will implement the project by June 2028. MRPs will remain effective alongside e-passports in the meantime. 

The Ministry of Home Affairs signed an MoU with the German company, Veridos GmbH, regarding e-passports during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit last year.

Veridos GmbH will work with the DIP on a Government to Government (G2G) basis, following recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Finance of Germany.

The first batch of 2 million e-passports will come from Germany, while the rest will be formulated in Bangladesh after the installation of necessary machinery and a data transfer centre, the project proposal said. 

During the making of the e-passports, demographic information, fingerprints of all ten fingers, retina scans, and digital signatures will be collected from citizens.

Padma Bridge project granted an additional Tk1,400 crore

Ecnec has approved a proposal to acquire 1,162.67 hectares of land for the ongoing Padma Bridge project, which will require an additional Tk1,400 crore.

Of the total, 9.35 hectares of land will be acquired at the Mawa end of the bridge, while the remaining 1,153.32 hectares will be acquired at the Janzira end, said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project is being implemented as a fast track project, with an estimated cost of Taka 28,793.38 crore. The project is scheduled to be implemented by December 2018. 

According to the Bridge Division, around 53 percent of the construction work on the main bridge has already been completed, though there has only been 34% progress in river training work. 

Ecnec approved 14 projects on Thursday at an overall estimated cost of Taka 16,972.24 crore. 

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