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Article submitted to LALIT re New biometric identity card


Is the launching of the biometric identity card, replacing the one non-biometric in use, a priority for the Government?

After deeply analyzing various aspects pertaining to the country’s social and political administration, I should say no.

The present national identity card has proved to be a reliable document for purpose of identification of its holder. All institutions, regardless of their nature of business, where it has to be shown for certainty have accepted it to proceed with their administrative convenience. Furthermore, a pattern is replaced when it is no longer valid and out-dated. Such is not the case with our national identity card actually in use. Hence its replacement involving a massive financial investment is not justified, at all. The money could have been used for other viable projects such as, among others, the construction of reservoirs throughout the island following a close assessment of the topography of the land by local suitable professionals. Consequently rain water could be stored for distribution to the population at large during drought period.

It is said that the new identity card which, according to me , is a duplication of the one now in use, except a slight modification as regards to the display of digital print, in terms of documents to be furnished for its individual preparation and delivery, is for the sake of modernization. Of course, we are all for modernization, but as long as it is in our favour and having nothing to do with the privacy of our life.

Coming to the digital print, it is a means required by the Police Department for the purpose of enquiry when a suspect is in its custody. With the new ID. Card if every eligible person will have to provide his or her digital print, it would appear that the whole population has turned out to be a suspect
In light of above, I would wish the Government to revise its decision and not to go ahead with the introduction of the new ID Card; thus saving money for the benefit of the country where many sectors over the island are in great need of an economic and financial support from the State for a better welfare of the Mauritian society.