Passport services in the country have improved by “500 per cent” ever since the Modi government came to power in 2014, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Friday. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been continuously working to speed up issuance of passports, the minister said in Lok Sabha during Question Hour. He also said that as many as 32 million Indians or Indian origin people live abroad and the Ministry of External Affairs has been rendering services to all of them.
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“Passport services have improved very much in the last eight years, I would say 500 per cent. The number of offices which process passport applications was 110 before 2014 and the number now stands at above 550,” Muraleedharan said. He said the MEA is working continuously to speed up passport issuance and meet high or seasonal demand for passports by taking various steps including organising special drives or melas on weekends. Since June, a total of 234 passport melas have been held and 500 more will be held in the coming days, he said.
All efforts are being made so that no one applying for a passport is denied one, he added. Responding to a question on whether the ministry discriminates against areas represented by opposition MPs while opening Passport Seva Kendras, Muraleedharan said the Modi government has been offering all help to states ruled by opposition parties or areas represented by opposition MPs. “I myself have opened a Passport Seva Kendra in Kerala in a constituency represented by a Congress MP,” he said.