Prime Minister Hazar Khan Khoso was informed on Wednesday that pendency of applications which stood at 800000 in the first week of April, 2013 has been reduced to 500000 due to measures taken by the government.
The pendency, the Prime Minister was told had accumulated due to lack of availability of lamination paper, rampant corruption and collusion of agent mafia with officials of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.
The Directorate General of Immigration and Passports, the Prime Minister was told, had succeeded in procurement of lamination sheets which is likely to accelerate the process of issuance of passports to applicants. The Prime Minister was told that apart from taking action against officials involved in corruption, guidelines have been displayed for the public, besides surprised visits to improve efficiency.
The Director General Immigration and Passport informed the Prime Minister that the department is working on Saturdays and Sundays to comply with his instructions to clear the pendency and bring it to zero. Only last Saturday and Sunday 42000 passports were printed, he said.
The Prime Minister was told that all arrangements have been secured to ensure issuance of passports to intending Hajis so that they can perform their religious duty.
He was informed that a toll free helpline is now functioning which can be contacted by any applicant to know about the progress of applications.
It would be pertinent to mention here that that the meeting was convened to review the progress made on the Prime Minister’s instructions issued during an earlier meeting held in first week of April on clearing of pendency of applications of passports.
The Prime Minister directed that the common man should be provided passport promptly and the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports should step up its efforts to clear the pending applications.
These directions were given by the Prime Minister while reviewing the present position of pendency of passports during a presentation made by the Ministry of Interior at the Prime Minister House this afternoon.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Interior, Malik Habib Khan, senior official of the Prime Minister’s secretariat and Director General Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.