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12 October 2022, 14:58

Bill on biometric documents passes first reading in Belarus

MINSK, 12 October (BelTA) - The bill "On Amending Laws" (on biometric documents) passed the first reading in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the seventh convocation on 12 October, BelTA has learned.

The bill has been submitted to the House of Representatives by the Council of Ministers in coordination with the head of state. It has been drafted in order to bring the legislation in line with the president's decree No. 107 "On Biometric Documents" of 16 March 2021.

The bill specifies the grounds for granting the right to draft deferment on military service. It also suggests more possibilities for foreigners to obtain a permanent residence permit in Belarus (acquisition of multifunctional premises or other residential premises as property). The bill imposes a temporary restriction on the departure from Belarus of persons under administrative proceedings. The State Security Committee has the right to temporarily restrict the departure of individuals from the Republic of Belarus in the interests of national security. The bills envisages additional regulation of travel abroad rules for employees of government bodies.

"Adjustments have been necessitated in the light of the recent developments," Valentina Razhanets, Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Commission on Human Rights, National Relations and Media of the House of Representatives, told reporters. “The issue of biometric documents in Belarus started in September 2021. This innovation requires legislation. From the point of view of security and sovereignty, it is very important to define the rules for entry and exit of both Belarusians and foreigners to/from the Republic of Belarus. The bill proposes to keep an eye on those who, due to certain circumstances, have not fulfilled their obligations to an administrative court until they discharge these obligations. And only then they will be permitted to travel abroad."

Since biometric passports carry the state symbols, the law "On State Symbols of the Republic of Belarus" is amended accordingly. "Last year the military medical faculty of the medical university was reorganized into the Military Medical Institute. This novelty is also spelled out in the bill. This reorganization move is expected to improve the system of military medical education in Belarus and make it more export attractive. Other adjustments are being made. The bill has passed the first reading. It will be fine-tuned before it is submitted for the second reading," the MP added.

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