While announcing legislation amendments, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Hon. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, referred to amendments in the National Identity Card Act of Mauritius. Item C.7 of the Budget 2017-18 speech says:
The National Identity Card Act will be amended to allow reading card data by both public and private agencies as may be determined by the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation according to set criteria.
In the Supreme Court of Mauritius, I still recall how innocently the proponents of the Biometric Identity Card testified that there is no risk of abuse since card readers only reside within the high-security infrastructure of the government and that no reader has been given to private entities. I was at the Supreme Court. I listened to them and I knew the intention behind. I smiled at the innocent lies. :-)
On the 27th March 2017, the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Hon. Yogida Sawmynaden, in a radio programme (watch on YouTube) said that said if tomorrow government invests & issues card readers to banks & insurance companies then it would be in case of “doubt” that a person will be asked for a one-to-one verification against his biometric identity card. Earlier in that same radio programme I phoned and asked the minister whether or not the government is encouraging the use of biometric identification in private organizations by making the biometric ID card compulsory.
Today the government is pursuing the same mission that the previous government had. In the past few years we have seen all sorts of dirty tactics, government propaganda to instil fear and uncertainty in people’s mind, in order to achieve their aims regarding the biometric identity card.