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TCS to pay penalty for passport project delay

The government has sent a notice to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), asking the company to pay Rs 2 lakh as penalty for every week of delay in the Passport Seva Project.

business Updated: Oct 13, 2009 02:05 IST
Tushar Srivastava

The government has sent a notice to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), asking the company to pay Rs 2 lakh as penalty for every week of delay in the Passport Seva Project.

TCS, as the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) private sector partner, was supposed to ensure that seven pilot Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in Chandigarh and Bangalore were set up by October 1.

The official said the delay in the pilot project would impact the final plan of action, which envisaged setting up 77 PSKs and upgrading the present 37 passport offices by January 2010.

Once fully implemented, it will take three days to issue passports after police verification and just one day under the tatkal (instant) scheme. But a senior MEA official, who refused to be identified, said the software developed by TCS was found to be “defective”.

TCS of the Tata group is India’s largest provider of information technology and business process outsourcing company.

The official said TCS was supposed to provide support functions, such as improving citizen interface, managing the technology backbone, the call centres, training, etc.

The passport project is one of the Mission Mode Projects under the National E-Governance Programme launched last year.

The Central Passport Organisation under the ministry issued about five million passports in 2007. The total demand is, however, expected to grow to over 10 million in 2011.