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6 July, 2018 12:15:29 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 6 July, 2018 01:46:05 AM

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DIP mulls e-passports by Dec

DEEPAK ACHARJEE
DIP mulls e-passports by Dec

Following a discussion with the authorities of the Veridos GmbH, the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) is going to sign an agreement with the German passport production company on July 19 to issue e-passports from December. The authorities concerned -- German state-owned company Veridos GmbH, security service division of the home ministry and the DIP -- have finalised the draft agreement for signing it in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) on July 19.

Maj.

Gen. Md Masud Rezwan, director general of the DIP, has said they will start issuing e-passports with 10 years’ validity instead of machine-readable passports (MRPs) from December this year. The fee of an e-passport is yet to be fixed by the authorities concerned.

The DIP chief has said the fee of an e-passport would be fixed by holding an inter-ministerial meeting soon.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on e-passport was signed with the German company during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to that country in February 2017.

The e-passport will be issued through a mega project of Tk 4600 crore which will be implemented within 10 years.

According to the proposal, a passport booklet factory will be set up in Dhaka’s Uttara, where a six-storied printing house of the DIP is being built. As part of the proposed project, three crore e-passports would be made and distributed among the existing MRP owners in the country.

Maj Gen Md Masud Rezwan told The Independent that they would complete all the process of implementing the proposed project within December this year.

“We’ll set up the required equipment at all Bangladesh missions abroad and all passport offices in the country.

“At the same time, we will set up 50 e-gates at as many immigration points at all international airports, seaports and land ports in the country,” Md Masud Rezwan said.

Of the three crore e-passports, we’ll import around one crore and produce two crore at the passport factory.

“USD 6.5 will be paid to make one e-passport booklet. Two types of e-passports – 48-page and 63-page – will be issued,” he said.

“Like the MRP, no option would be available for renewal of the passport, the passport holders have to reissue the e-passport,” he added.

“We will ourselves handle all types of security aspects, including software, security features and other contents of the e-passport,” the DG of the DIP said.

Local consultant of Veridos GmbH, Faiyazul Huq Raju, also told this correspondent that the agreement would be signed on July 19.

“Veridos works with third-generation electronic passport solutions that cover the entire process—from enrolment and document generation to data management and public key infrastructure (PKI), personalisation and document usage for border controls. After e-passports are introduced, it will be impossible to make fake passports,” he said.

The e-passport will be a biometric passport containing detailed features of the holder.  It will have a microchip containing biometric information and the holder’s name, date of birth and other biographic information. An e-passport is likely to cost Tk. 6500 for 48 pages and Tk 8500 for 63 pages.

At present, a passport holder pays Tk 3000 as fees for normal (30 days) and Tk 6,000 for emergency (seven days) for an MRP.

For the introduction of such passports, the Bangladesh Passport Rules 1974 has been amended.

DIP sources have said they have issued 1.76 crore MRPs till date, since they were introduced in

April 2010.

At least 118 countries, including India (only for diplomats and officials), China, Malaysia and the UAE, have already introduced e-passports.

SHK

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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