Issue 1: from Bangladesh, the latest nonsense the world is seeing is that the Chief election commissioner is being accused of compiling a millions of Takas worth fresh voters list for the upcoming election. The election commission has completely scraped the previous voter list done five years ago not taking into account that updating the list could have saved a lot money. Of course there were political intrigues behind the both list as these were done under two different governments.
Issue 2: Many countries such as USA and UK won't be accepting any other passports than machine readable ones from 2007. So Bangladesh government was under pressure to implement machine readable passport as soon as possible. But for that a database, such as the national ID card is required. The home ministry was apt in judging the situation and tagged the national ID card project along with the machine readable passport project and submitted to the cabinet purchase committee. The committee rejected the proposal last month saying:
"Machine-readable passport and readable national ID card are two separate issues National ID card project is a bigger issue which needs direct approval of the Cabinet instead of such a committee".
A draft law was already proposed by the home ministry citing that the ground work was done.
Political debates asides, what Bangladesh really needs is a national ID card base which can solve many problems. This database can be used in numerous ways, from voter lists, passports, tax records, land registration authentications to criminal investigations. According to todays news the machine readable passport with national ID card project has been shelved. Now the country will seek to implement machine readable passports without a validated database, which should be an worry for the other countries who will recognise these passports. There are now talks of corruption in the bid, but some people forget that sometimes corruption can also be counterproductive. Curbing corruption is a different issue, but fearing that no development should be halted.
Bangladesh will be paying the price of building so many individual databases until the prime national ID card is implemented and shared by all concerns.