Kuala Lumpur-based IRIS Corporation Berhad Consortium yesterday got a go-ahead from the cabinet committee on purchase to deliver machine readable passports (MRPs) to Bangladeshi expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
The Cabinet Division at a meeting yesterday also approved some other purchase proposals worth Tk 631 crore, including those for supplying electric poles in rural areas.
The IRIS Corporation will provide MRPs to about 15 lakh Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia at an additional fee of $9, a lower rate than that charged in Malaysia or the United Arab Emirates.
In Malaysia, the service charge per MRP is $18 and in the UAE, it is $13, besides the normal fees.
Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division Nurul Karim told reporters that separate companies have landed the job at the bidding price in different areas which made the variation in the service charges.
The home ministry has informed the cabinet committee that the outsourcing companies will reach the MRPs to the expatriates in time, Karim said.
Handwritten passports have to be replaced by MRPs by November 2015, as per the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
The government has taken an initiative to reach MRPs to the expatriate Bangladeshis in different countries through outsourcing companies and as part of the initiative it has appointed companies in the three countries.
The cabinet committee approved purchasing 241,710 electric poles for Tk 467.46 crore and setting up 17,850 kilometres of power transmission lines in rural areas.
The committee also gave its nod to a proposal for installing a disaster recovery system at the Election Commission for preserving the national ID database. Tiger IT Bangladesh Ltd got the job of Tk 57.52 crore.