The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) intends to put a cap on the period of police verification for the timely issuance of passports, Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday.
She said it will ensure that in case of no objection or no verification by the police within the stipulated period, the authentication will be considered done.
Another passport seva kendra (help centre) will come up in Indore to lessen the burden on the Bhopal passport office, Sushma told reporters at a press conference on the central government's achievements in the seven months of its rule.
Referring to the MEA's good governance, the minister said that she ensured that procedural formalities were completed within a month and six lakh booklets made available to the MEA’s passport section.
This, she said, was done to do away the numerous complaints from many quarters, including parliamentarians, regarding the delay in getting passports. A shortage of five lakh passport booklets was found to be the cause of this delay, she added.
Sushma said she prevailed over the authorities in Bhopal to reduce the waiting period for starting the proceedings on an application from 28 working days to seven days.
She added that she had further instructed them to reduce the period from seven working days to three. A special drive will be launched to clear the backlog of passport applications in Madhya Pradesh, the minister said.