ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan Thursday informed the National Assembly that 73 more regional passport offices, costing Rs 680 million, were being set up across the country next year.

Speaking in the House, the Minister said these offices would only be established in such districts where passport office did not exist.

“The offices are being set up mostly in Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkwa,” he added.

Nisar said the offices were being established in larger national interest rather than on the recommendation of anyone for the first time in country history.

“Next year, passport offices will be available in every district of the country,” he said.

He claimed that now applicants were getting urgent passport in just 4 days and normal in 10 days.

The Minister said the time limit for passport delivery was reduced to 4 from 6 days (urgent passport) and 14 to 10 days (normal passport).

He said that expiry limit of passport had also been extended from five to ten years.

He said online tracking and SMS system was introduced in the passport offices to ensure transparency and counter corrupt mafia.

Some employees were terminated and arrested on account of corrupt practices, he added.

He said home delivery of passport had been started initially in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore adding that it would be extended to the whole country in next four months.

The Minister said a sum of Rs 18 billion revenue was collected under head of passport and immigration during last year while it was Rs 13 billion in 2013.

Similarly, he said that NADRA was running into loss of Rs 1.7 billion before inception of the incumbent government.

He said NADRA earned Rs five billion profit in 2014 and hoped the revenue would be increased to Rs over five billion.