In­dian govt re­duces pass­port fee for se­nior cit­i­zens, mi­nors

Muscat Daily - - NATION - Swapna Taraf­dar

The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has an­nounced that Non-Res­i­dent In­di­ans (NRIs) over 60 and be­low eight years of age will get a ten per cent dis­count on pass­port fee. Also, new pass­ports will have de­tails printed in both Hindi and English.

An of­fi­cial from the In­dia’s Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs con­firmed the new de­vel­op­ment to Mus­cat Daily.

At present, an adult pass­port costs RO28.9 while a mi­nor one (up to 18 years) costs RO19.3, ac­cord­ing to the In­dian Em­bassy in Mus­cat web­site. “The date from which this new de­ci­sion will be ap­pli­ca­ble has not been de­cided yet,” the of­fi­cial said.

The Union gov­ern­ment has also in­formed Par­lia­ment that birth cer­tifi­cates are not a pre­req­ui­site to ap­ply for pass­ports in In­dia. It has said that Aad­haar or PAN card could be used to es­tab­lish the date of birth (DoB).

Ac­cord­ing to the Pass­port Rules, 1980, all ap­pli­cants born on or af­ter Jan­uary 26, 1989, had to sub­mit a birth cer­tifi­cate, a manda­tory pro­vi­sion. Now, the ap­pli­cant can sub­mit any one of these - trans­fer/school leav­ing/ma­tric­u­la­tion cer­tifi­cate is­sued by the school last at­tended/recog­nised ed­u­ca­tional board con­tain­ing DoB of the ap­pli­cant, PAN card, Aad­haar card/e-Aad­haar, driv­ing li­cence, Voter ID card and even LIC pol­icy bonds.

An­swer­ing a ques­tion in Par­lia­ment, V K Singh, In­dian Min­is­ter of State for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs said the aim is make the whole process eas­ier and al­low more peo­ple to ap­ply for pass­ports.

Also, nei­ther di­vorce nor adop­tion cer­tifi­cates need to be sub­mit­ted any longer to get a pass­port. Or­phans only need a doc­u­ment from their or­phan­age to con­firm DoB. On­line ap­pli­cants only need to pro­vide the name of one par­ent or guardian, not both, help­ing sin­gle par­ent fam­i­lies.

The an­nexes to the pass­port form have been re­duced from 15 to 9, and they only need to be printed out in plain paper, and self-at­tested. No at­tes­ta­tion/ swear­ing by/be­fore any no­tary/ex­ec­u­tive mag­is­trate/first class ju­di­cial mag­is­trate would be hence­forth nec­es­sary. This also means mar­ried ap­pli­cants don’t need to pro­vide a mar­riage cer­tifi­cate, nor name of spouse if they are divorced or sep­a­rated.

All these rules have been in op­er­a­tion since De­cem­ber 2016.

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