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    Kabul residents to get computerised ID cards in 5 months

    KABUL (PAN): Computerised identity cards will be issued to residents of Kabul over the next five months, the minister of communications and information technology said on Thursday.

    Amirzai Sangin said the scheme had two phases, with his ministry having accomplished the technical part. The distribution of computerised ID cards would start in the capital in five months, he added.

    After signing an agreement for distributing the cards with a foreign firm called GTR in 2010, the ministry had announced implementing the project in three years.

    There were problems with in the distribution of the cards, a task entrusted to the Ministry of Interior, he said. The Ministry of Interior lacked the capacity to undertake the distribution process, he explained.

    "We have held coordination meetings with the MoI," Sangin said, adding: "(Issuance of) Computerised ID cards involved a new technology and hence some problems."

    He continued the MoI had to recruit skilled people and develop the capacity of its staff to be able to execute the project.

    Despite efforts, Pajhwok Afghan News failed to get the MoI view on the issue. 

    "There was adequate budget to implement the project and all arrangements for the distribution the cards have been made," Sangin said.

    The $101 million project, to be implemented in three phases, would help the government collect information about citizens and improve the security situation, he hoped.

    Inadequate security and constant migration have frustrated efforts at conducting a fresh and credible census, but Afghanistan's current population is estimated at more than 28 million.

    Funded by the finance ministry, the project -- a joint venture of MoI and MoCIT -- would also help minimise electoral irregularities, the minister believed.

    mam/mud



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