New Delhi: As part of efforts to make availability of passports easier, government is working on a number of steps which include the facility of online payments by credit cards and increasing the number of outlets to receive applications.
Attempts are also being made to reduce the pendency of passport cases by organising `melas` on Saturday and Sunday next.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said a proposal to open 40 Passport Seva Kendras, in addition to the planned 77, is expected to be considered by the Union Cabinet soon.
He said steps have already been initiated to clear the backlog and, in this regard, he referred to the special sittings held by the passport department on last Saturday and Sunday when 15,000 applications were received.
The backlog has been partially cleared, Krishna said during an interaction with journalists here.
With regard to problems faced by people in getting appointments by applying online, he said efforts are being made to decongest it.
Meanwhile, arrangements are being made to enable applicants to submit applications in printed form and it is expected to be operational from July one, Krishna said.
The capacity for receiving of applications is being increased from current 35,000 to 42,000 per day.
He said facility for online payment by credit cards is also being set up and talks are underway in this regard with the Finance Ministry.