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Sri Lanka President instructs to start work on digital database of citizens

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed official to start work on a digital database of citizens which will have their bio data and which will link all activities connected to a person including income tax and voting.

A new ID will be issued to the public through the digital system.

“Individual bio data could be viewed physically as well as through the internet,” the President’s office said.

“The new identity card which contains the most accurate data, comprises information required by departments and agencies governed under different laws,”

“It includes information that has to be furnished not only for obtaining passports and driving licences but also for purposes of pension, Samurdhi allowance, income tax and casting vote.

“President instructed the officials to take measures to issue the new identity card to every citizen as soon as possible. ”

The law to build a digital database of citizens was passed during the last administration. Sri Lanka already has an identity card which is used for voting, opening bank accounts, getting jobs, pensions and other activities.

The idea of a digital ID was first proposed by in 2012 when President Rajapaksa was defence secretary.

“The new identity card will be prepared by a committee of experts under the direction of Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and the supervision of a Presidential Task Force,” the statement said.

Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration J. J. Rathnasiri, Secretary Defence Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne had attended the meeting.

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Also present wwasAdditional Secretaries to the Ministry of Defence Waruna Dhanapala and U. K. Bandara, Controller of Immigration and Emigration V.B. Sarath Rupasiri, Commissioner General of the Department for Registration of Persons Viyani Gunathileke, Registrar General N. C. Vithanage, Chairman of ICTA Jayantha de Silva and Chief Executive Officer Mahinda Herath. (Colombo/May13/2020)