4,926,532 machine readable passports issued in seven years
Kathmandu, December 13
As of 15 July 2017, a total of 4,926,532 machine readable passports have been issued since the commencement of the issuance of MRPs in Nepal in December 2010, according to the Department of Passports under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the fiscal 2016/17, the DoP produced 557,188 MRPs/travel documents. The total figure includes 4,907,820 ordinary passports, 13,822 official passports, 3,567 diplomatic passports and 1323 TDs. In the reporting period, a total of 192,375 clients applied directly at the DoP, whereas 344,564 and 20,249 applied through districts and diplomatic missions abroad respectively, says an annual report published by the MoFA.
The DoP has been providing passport services to Nepali citizens through its own collection and distribution counters in Kathmandu and the wider network of district administration offices located in 75 districts and 38 Nepali Missions abroad. It is solely responsible for the personalisation and issuance of Machine Readable Travel documents to Nepali nationals and other eligible persons in accordance with prevailing Passport Act, rules and regulations. The reform measures and initiatives undertaken by the DoP such as application of appropriate technology and use of social media to disseminate information to clients have been instrumental in making passport services as one of the visible citizen-centric public services, the report claimed.
The DoP’s web portal provides comprehensive information about passport services. Introduction of the Live Enrolment System to collect and process digital passport application forms has helped improve passport service delivery. There are 10 live enrolment counters at the DoP premises in Kathmandu, and at 10 Nepali missions based in Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, London, Washington DC and New York. There are two streams of passport services — fast and normal tracks. A fast track passport service is designed to serve people in urgent need. Fast track services, made available only at the department, help the people get their passports issued for Rs 15,000 for one-day service, Rs 12,000 for two-day service and Rs 10,000 for three-day service.
“In 2016/17, the department undertook various reform measures in quality and internal control in order to provide standardised, efficient and predictable services to the people,” it said. Quality system manual was put in place to maintain standardised passport delivery services that resulted into the award of ISO 9001:2015 to the DoP making it the first public office to receive the ISO certification in quality.