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Press Release on increase of Passport Services Fees


New Delhi
March 28, 2002


The present passport fee regime has been in operation since July 1993. Since then, the total expenditure incurred by the Government on the issue of passports has gone up considerably. Substantial sums have already been invested in modernisation of Passport Offices and additional funds are required to transfer all the records on CD-ROMs to fully computerise all the 28 Passport Offices and connect them with satellite linkage for instantaneous exchange of information.

For the facility of the applicants, the Central Government has requested the State Governments to accept passport applications at the District level itself in a designated office which would either be that of the District Magistrate or Superintendent of Police. It is proposed to create District Passport Cells with computer links with the concerned Passport Office, so that a passport applicant could follow up the progress of the police verification at the District level itself. The State Governments have to be reimbursed the cost of manpower, computer equipment and office space for this new facility. This decentralisation has already been launched in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim and Nagaland.

The Passport Offices are in the midst of a major technological upgradation. Machine-writing of passports – to bring our passports to international standards - has already been implemented in six Passport Offices and would commence in eight more Passport Offices shortly. A massive project to scan and computerise all the records of the Passport Offices is under implementation. New security features are being added to the passport booklets. All these measures require substantial additional investment.

The Government has been spending considerable sums of money for upgrading the existing Passport Offices and constructing as well as renting new and spacious Passport Offices for the facility of passport applicants. In the last two years, the Passport Offices at Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Thane and Bhubaneswar have moved into modern and spacious premises. The Passport Offices at Patna and Panaji would shift to new locations shortly. Projects for construction of Passport Offices are in various stages of implementation in six other cities.

The Government also has embarked on a project for computerisation of Consular Wings in the Missions and Posts abroad and the Consular Wings at High Commission of India, Colombo and Consulate General of India, Dubai would soon be computerised. After testing and stabilising the software and standardising the hardware, this system would be replicated in other major Missions and Posts abroad. This would enable our Consulates to issues visas within a few hours and also provide passport services to Non-Resident Indians on the same day.

To meet the rising costs of issue of passports and the present and projected costs of modernisation of offices, computerisation of processes, construction and renting of new and modern office premises and for reimbursing the cost to the State Governments for expediting passport application forms as well as the cost involved in police verification, the Government has been compelled to enhance the passport application fee w.e.f. April 1, 2002. The revised passport fee schedule for all passport applications presented at the Passport Office or District Passport

Application Collection Centres or Speed Post Centres on or after April 1, 2002 would be as follows:

 

 

In India (Rs.)

Abroad (US $)

i)

Ordinary passport (fresh or in lieu of an expired passport) of 36 pages.

1000

40

ii)

Jumbo passport (fresh or in lieu of an expired passport) of 60 pages.

1500

50

iii)

India-Bangladesh and India-Sri Lanka passport.

500

20

iv)

Observations/Endorsements in the passport e.g. change in address, ECNR endorsement, name of spouse etc.

300

10

v)

Miscellaneous service requiring a new passport booklet of 36 pages.

500

20

vi)

Miscellaneous service requiring issue of a new passport booklet of 60 pages.

700

25

vii)

Ordinary passport booklet containing 36 pages with a maximum validity of five years for minor children below the age of 18 years.

600

25

viii)

Duplicate passport of 36 pages in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.

2500

125

ix)

Duplicate India-Bangladesh or India-Sri Lanka passport in lieu of lost, damaged or stolen passport.

1000

30


For the passport applications which have been sent by Registered Post/Speed Post/Under Certificate of Posting to the Passport Offices with the date of handing over to the Post Office prior to March 31, 2002, the present i.e. the old passport fee would be applicable.

As the ongoing ‘Tatkaal Scheme’ has been very successful in meeting the genuine demands of applicants for the urgent issue of passports, the fee for Tatkaal service is not being increased.

Even after this increase in passport fee, the fee regime compares favourably with the passport fee in the neighbouring countries which in Indian Rupees is about Rs.1,500 in Pakistan, Rs.1,560 in Nepal, Rs.1,300 in Sri Lanka, Rs.800 in Bhutan and Rs.3,800 in Malaysia.

The Passport Offices are striving to radically improve the quality of services provided to the passport applicants. In the year 2001, the 28 Passport Offices issued 27.80 lakh passports which reflects an increase of 24% over the passports issued in the year 2000. The number of passport applications has also been growing at a rapid rate. The Passport Offices received 28.89 lakh applications in the year 2001 which is an increase of 11.6% over the 25.88 lakh applications received in 2000. The Government has also taken several measures to streamline the issue of passports and the requirement of police verification has been relaxed in cases involving additional booklet, re-issue of passports after expiry of original passport as well as for Government servants and officials of public sector undertakings.

The Government is committed to provide efficient and expeditious service to the passport applicants from its offices in India and abroad.

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