Print Edition - 2014-12-14 | Main News
Passport Dept to fast-track MRP process from districts
Dec 13, 2014-
If all goes to plan, people living outside the Valley will not have to come to the Capital to get their passport. The government has begun work to issue “urgent” passports in each development region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to formulate a work procedure in order to make the passport regime hassle-free by collecting applications online and extending offices to the five regions to make this possible.
Thousands of people are now compelled to visit the Department of Passport every day to seek passport in a week through the fast-track channel. They have to pay Rs 10,000 in the process. Under the normal procedure, service seekers can get passports from the District Administration Office, paying Rs 5,000. In the general scheme, it takes at least two months for the people to receive a passport, the lengthiest time and the costliest process in the whole of South Asia.
The Good Governance and Monitoring Committee of Parliament directed the Foreign Ministry earlier this week to revamp the process to ensure successful “phase-out” of handwritten documents with machine readable passports while cutting the processing time. The International Civil Aviation Organization has given Nepal until November 2015 to replace millions of handwritten passports.
“We have asked the Foreign Ministry to do everything at its disposal to provide passports within 15 days and slash the time for urgent processing,” said Sherdhan Rai, chief of the Good Governance and Monitoring Committee. The committee has asked the Foreign Ministry to submit the work procedure within a month. Foreign Ministry officials said it is possible to make the passport distribution easier and faster if other stakeholders support the plan.
The passport problem could easily be solved if the plan is approved, said Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey. The ministry is planning to deploy a special team to labour destinations in the Gulf to assist mission staffers to distribute passports. The Passport Department receives nearly 30,000 applications every month from Nepalis in the Gulf and Malaysia.
Published: 14-12-2014 09:16