Friday, April 12, 2024

PM pushes harder for national ID system

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PRIME MINISTER ANDREW HOLNESS says that his Government is reaching out to all Jamaicans, in seeking to have the National Identification and Registration Bill passed into law, as early as possible.

He said that the Government is debating the provisions of the Bill in a collective way, and has been holding extensive consultations to ensure widespread acceptance of the measures.

Holness, who was opening the debate on the Bill in the House of Representatives Tuesday, said that it should be noted that a previous version of the Bill, which he had tabled during the 2017/18 budget debate in March, had been withdrawn, after extensive consultations with stakeholders, and a new Bill tabled last week.

“The Government listened and thought it best to withdraw the original Bill and table a new Bill, taking into account the feedback. The Government listened to the people and responded,” Holness said.

He noted that the current effort began in 2011, and also included the tabling of a White Paper in Parliament last November.

But, Holness said that the dialogue has been going on long enough, and it was now time act.

“The discussions have been on-going for too long now. The Government and the people of Jamaica have been discussing the introduction of a national identification and registration system for over 40 years. Now is the time to cease the talking and act on this Bill which is vital for the betterment of the people of Jamaica,” he stated.

Passage of the Bill will facilitate the establishment and regulation of a system for the registration, verification and authentication of the identity of citizens and other persons residing in Jamaica. (Jamaica Observer)

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