Govt Pilot Project Introduces Digital ID Cards

By Wai Wai Lwin 15 December 2016

RANGOON — The Burmese government is conducting a pilot project to substitute paper National Registration Cards with “smarter” digital identification cards in Naypyidaw and Mandalay.

The National Registration Cards, also known as citizenship scrutiny cards, are issued to Burmese citizens by the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population’s national registration department.

Minister U Thein Swe provided background information on the project after a Lower House lawmaker inquired about the ministry’s plan for “smarter” national ID cards during Wednesday’s parliamentary session.

“The plan to replace National Registration Cards with Smart Cards is a priority in the e-government system” the minister told lawmakers.

U Thein Swe said that after the pilot project in Naypyidaw and Mandalay is finished, the project will be implemented in other states and divisions.

The pilot project launched in some townships in Naypyidaw last week and in Mandalay on December 13.

In order to carry out the initiative, immigration officers record citizens’ fingerprints, eye scans, and take a photo of each individual, according to the ministry.

The minister added that they also welcome suggestions and insights on the process from local and international experts, including those from IT companies in neighboring countries that are already using digital ID cards.

The minister said that currently approximately 37 million people out of more than 53 million people in Burma hold the pink paper National Registration Cards.