ISLAMABAD - An estimated 730,000 Pakistanis, both within the country and abroad, have been grappling with a prolonged wait for their passport issuance, it emerged on Monday.
The delay stemmed from a shortage of dollars within the country, which led to a delay in the timely payment to the contracted French company responsible for the provision of lamination papers.
In response to the crisis, authorities have taken decisive action and an order for an additional 2 million lamination papers has been placed with the French company. On Friday, the passport office received lamination papers sufficient for 1 million passports.
The production process for the pending passports commenced today, marking a significant stride towards resolving the backlog. At present, between 22,000 to 30,000 passports are set to be processed daily.
Projections suggest that the backlog of over 700,000 passports will be completely cleared in the coming four weeks and by the close of November, Pakistan is set to receive an additional one million lamination papers, crucial for expediting the passport issuance process. Additionally, lamination papers for another million passports are anticipated to reach the country in December, 24 News reported.
Furthermore, arrangements have been made to facilitate payment for an additional two million lamination papers to the French company, ensuring that the issue of passport printing is swiftly and comprehensively addressed by the concerned authorities.
Though the Pakistani passport is amongst the worst-performing passports in the world according to Henley Passport Index, the document is still needed for travel abroad and hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis are currently making their passports for better employment opportunities abroad.
The exodus of Pakistanis in such large numbers has also prompted authorities to look for ways to improve the economy or else this brain drain would cost the country heavily in the next few years. Noentheless, students, entreprenuers, businessmen, engineers, doctors and people from different professions are all trying to secure employment abroad and to improve their future.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Saturday.
On Saturday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.
Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||358.5||362|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||36.37||36.72|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||175.33||177.33|
Gold prices witnessed negative trend in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.
On Saturday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs217,600, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs186,560.
Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs199,465, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs190, 400 and 18k gold rate is Rs163,200.00 for each tola.
In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Saturday.
|Lahore||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Karachi||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Islamabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Peshawar||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Quetta||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Sialkot||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Attock||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Gujranwala||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Jehlum||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Multan||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Gujrat||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Nawabshah||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Chakwal||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Hyderabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Nowshehra||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Sargodha||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Faisalabad||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|
|Mirpur||PKR 217,600||PKR 2,530|