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Passport issuance to be simplified

The Centre is working on a policy to simplify the procedure of issuing passports and visas that would bring about "revolutionary changes."

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 21:58 IST

The Centre is working on a policy to simplify the procedure of issuing passports and visas that would bring about "revolutionary changes" by cutting red-tape.

"We realise that simplification of the procedure for issuing passports and visas is required and are working in this direction," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

He said police verification sometimes caused delays and the new policy would focus on such areas to ease the procedure and bring in "revolutionary changes".

Every effort was being made to ensure that people get passports on time, Sharma said.

The central government was also planning to open new passport offices in Shimla and Dehradun, the minister said.

He said he would take up the issue with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and ask him to speed up the verification process as also the issue of land allotment so that the passport office at Jalandhar could be shifted to a bigger building.

Sharma warned that licences of travel agents found hoodwinking youths on the pretext of sending them abroad would be cancelled and legal proceedings initiated against them.

The parents could forward applications mentioning the names of the prospective groom or bride, their Indian Passport Number, if any, to passport offices in Chandigarh or Jalandhar or directly to the Ministry of External Affairs, which would then get it touch with its missions abroad to verify details, he said.