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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Days of India-Bangladesh passport numbered

Soumen Dutta, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, August 30, 2013
First Published: 12:45 IST(30/8/2013) | Last Updated: 13:29 IST(30/8/2013)

The days of the India Bangladesh passport seems to be numbered.

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The passport is issued by the state government on behalf of the central government.

According to an official of the state home department, the number of such passports being issued is going down day by day.

The passport is availed of mainly by businessmen and individuals who have family members and relatives in Bangladesh.

One has to pay R1,000 while applying for the India Bangladesh passport. One has to pay the same amount to get an international passport.

“We are issuing 30- 40 India-Bangladesh passports per month. Earlier, we used to issue 300-400 a month,” said an officer of the India-Bangladesh passport wing of the state home department. The officer questioned, why should a person apply for the India-Bangladesh passport by paying Rs. 1,000 when he can apply for the international passport by paying the same amount?

The state government after getting an application for the India-Bangladesh passport sends it to the police for verification. After the verification report is positive, the passport for Bangladesh is issued.

“The states which share a border with Bangladesh have the authority to issue such a passport. Application for the IndiaBangladesh passport in states like Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram is also coming down.

“We are still issuing the IndiaBangladesh passport. But we do not know how long it will continue,” said Gouranga Gopal Sarkar, joint secretary of the state home department.

The state government officers like district magistrates and BDOs of the bordering districts have been empowered to give extension of the visa issued to the Bangladesh citizens. Sources in the home department said the proposal has been made to ease the Indo-Bangladesh travel policy.

“The days are not far when a person can simply apply for a Bangladesh visa without a passport from Bangladesh Deputy High Commission,” an officer said.


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