National ID mandatory for social security allowance in 28 districts from mid-July

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Kathmandu, June 14:The government has made at least the number of the National Identity Card mandatory for the renewal of social security allowances effective from July 16. Following the decision made by the Cabinet meeting on June 6, there has been an increase in the number of service seekers at District Administration Offices.

Mahesh Kumar Keshari, director and chief of the National Identity Card Management Section under the Department of National ID and Civil Registration, said on Thursday that in the first phase, the National ID card would be made mandatory in 28 districts for the renewal of social security allowances starting from July 16. For the renewal of the social security allowance, the National ID card's number is mandatory.

Director Keshari said that the Department, in coordination with the local levels, had launched a campaign to register details at the district administration offices, adding manpower for the registration process in the 28 districts. The districts where the National ID card has been made mandatory in the first phase include Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha, Udayapur, Dhanusa, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Chitwan, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Sindhuli, Makwanpur, Kaski, Tanahun, Dang, Surkhet, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, and Kanchanpur.

The Department has been conducting the National Identity Card registration campaign in local levels of 73 districts for the past four years. Currently, the details are being collected through all district administration offices, 54 area administration offices, and various local levels in different districts, said Keshari.

To receive the social security allowance, every eligible citizen needs to renew their social security card every year on the 1st of Shrawan (mid-July). 

As the renewal of the social security card  can be done until mid-September 2024, the Department has requested individuals who have not yet registered their details in the National Identity Card to contact their ward office during the campaign period or at their convenience at the nearest district administration office or area administration office and provide  their details. 

On Wednesday, the Department issued a notice informing that children, those unable to care for themselves, differently-able, helpless, or elderly citizens aged 90 years don't need to panic to renew their cards to get social security allowances even if their details are not registered in the given time.

Further, Director General Yubaraj Katel said that from mid-July, the Department is going to implement the official use of National ID, except for citizenship certificates in some public services to be delivered by different government offices. 

According to DG Katel, gradually public services like insurance policy, social security allowance, driving license, company registration of an individual and company can be done through the use of national ID and its number. 

The Department has claimed that the national ID will also be enough for getting a SIM card, opening a bank account, and other activities. The PAN card and health insurance system have already been integrated into this national card, and preparations are underway to include voter ID in it soon, he said. 

"Synchronisation of national ID except citizenship will gradually be applied in all public services which is the ultimate purpose of the use of the National ID by the citizens," said DG Katel. 

As per the Cabinet decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs is going to publish the notice of the availability of the public services to be given through the national ID in the Nepal Gazette this week. 

After this, the Department must move on to implement the national ID in all services to be delivered by the government, he said. 

According to the Department, so far, 14.8 million citizens have registered for the national ID card in Nepal. However, so far only 3.6 million cards have been printed, leaving 11.2 million people without their ID cards although they have the National ID numbers. 

The Department has said that every day, the office has been printing 18,000 national ID cards and now, there will be no delay and citizens don't have to wait for long to get it, said DG Katel.

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