India eyes issuing 1.5 cr passport in 2017

Kolkata: India has a target of issuing 1.5 crore passports this year, a Ministry of External Affairs official said here on Monday.

“All over India we issue around 60,000 to 65,000 passports in a day. Its a number in itself. This year’s target is 1.5 crores and it is different from financial targets. It is people’s participation,” said Secretary, Consular, Passport, Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs D.M. Mulay, who was here to check whether all passport facilities are in place and working in the right direction as well as for the opening of a new passport office.

Asked on the issues of arrest of Bangladeshi nationals having Indian passport, Mulay said India is trying to make passport systems as foolproof as possible.

“When you liberalise you have new challenges, part of it is including the governance as a whole. Everybody’s participation is required. For a country like India, finding a perfect model is very, very difficult, particularly when you have porous borders, particularly with linguistic, facial similarities.

“Sometimes even foolproof systems also require further assessments etc. We are trying to make it as foolproof as possible with all security features,” he said.

To a query on the view that the government was trying to impose a single language, in the wake of the announcement that passports would now be in both Hindi and English, Mulay said: “Idea is to facilitate, not impose. When we implement it you will see it, its really good.”