MEA unhappy over move to ease passport norms

 Passports are meant to be issued within 45 days of receipt of the police report. In case the applicant submits a verification certificate from a competent authority — an official of the rank of superintendent of police or joint secretary in the state government or deputy secretary in the central government — police verification is waived and passport issued within 30 days.

Some senior MEA officials objected to the proposed relaxation.

“If rules are eased in such a manner, the Indian passport will lose its importance and respect. A large number of countries will not issue visas to Indians pending verification by their own agencies,” an official said. At the moment, the Indian passport commands respect because of the strict verification procedure, he added.

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