Passport fee for kids, elderly cut by 10%

Passport fee for kids, elderly cut by 10%

Passport fee for kids, elderly cut by 10%

 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday announced a 10% reduction in the fee for issuing passports for children aged up to eight and for senior citizens.

She also announced that all passports issued across the country would now have details of the holders written not only in English, but also in Hindi.

Sushma made the announcement at an event organised by the Ministry of External Affairs to celebrate the completion of 50 years of the enactment of the Passports Act, 1967. She joined Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha to release a commemorative postage stamp.

“There has, of late, been a rise in the number of applications for passports from elderly people as, unlike in the past, many of them want to travel abroad, mostly to meet their children who are studying or working in foreign countries. Besides, more and more people are also travelling abroad with their children,” said Sushma.

She noted that eight and 60 (the minimum age limit to be categorised a senior citizen) were auspicious numbers in the Indian tradition.

Magic numbers

While eight was the age to leave home and go to a gurukul for studies, people aged 60 and above were expected to retire and dedicate themselves to the service of the society.

Sushma said this was the reason why the MEA chose the age groups. “The concession will be implemented immediately, from tomorrow (Saturday) itself,” she said.

“We have received complaints that passports are issued only in English. Passports should at least be bilingual. The forms should be both in Hindi and English. It is necessary to fill the forms in English to meet international requirements. Germany issues passports in German. The Arab countries issue passports in Arabic, Russia does so in Russian,” she said.

Presently, the passport bears an authorisation by the President, and has cautionary messages in Hindi and English.

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