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India to fund Sri Lanka's digital identity project

India will provide 450 million Indian rupees to fund Sri Lanka's digital identity project. 

During a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat, key stakeholders, including Presidential Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, State Minister of Technology, Kanaka Herath, Indian High Commissioner, Gopal Bagley, and First Secretary of the Indian High Commission, Eldos Mathew and others engaged in extensive discussions on the project’s execution.

“Signifying the Indian government’s commitment to the initiative, the Indian High Commissioner handed over a significant contribution of Indian Rs 450 million to Minister Kanaka Herath (State Minister of Technology), constituting 15 per cent of the total funds required for the successful implementation of the project as an advance payment,” a statement from the President’s Office said.

The project aims to collect biographic and biometric information, including facial, iris, and fingerprint data, which will be stored in a centralized system to issue identification cards as per the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Supporters of the project have claimed that it will lead to more effective and efficient delivery of government services, poverty reduction and welfare. However, funding and access to services have been limited across the Tamil North-east since the end of the armed. This is in part due to a lack of government initiative and also the severe militarisation of the region which has stifled the economic development of the region. 

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