Government on Friday announced that bilingual passports will be issued henceforth in Hindi and English. Chairing the Passport Seva Diwas and Passport Officers’ Conference in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also announced 10 percent reduction in passport fee for applicants under 8 years and over 60 years.
She said country is celebrating 50 years of Passport Act and this is an occasion to introspect on the journey so far. She said passport rules have been reformed in the recent past and efforts are being to provide passport to the citizens at the earliest. The Minister said children living in orphanage have also been given passports. Swaraj said, some passport rules had become irrelevant in today’s day and age. There fore the government has changed several rules. She said no one should have to travel more than 50 kilometres to get their passport.
Speaking on the occasion, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha described passport act as a very important act. He said, every citizen has the right to travel abroad. He said the Passport Seva Project has been a watershed in the history of passport issuance in India with its successful implementation in the Public Private Partnership mode.
The External Affairs Minister and Communications Minister also released a commemorative postage stamp on completion of 50 years of he Passports Act.