In a welcome development, the central government has announced reduction in passport fees for children and elderly people. The announcement was made by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. As per the new rule, children below 8 years of age and people above 60 years of age will have to pay 10 percent less at the time of applying for a passport. The announcement was made by Swaraj to mark the completion of 50 years of the Passport Act, 1967. Swaraj also announced that passports will not be printed both in English as well as in Hindi. Minister for Communication Manoj Sinha also shared the space with Swaraj and together they unveiled a commemorative postage stamp on the occasion.
“We have brought improvement in passport rules, services and focused on doorstep delivery,” Swaraj said. It may be recalled that the government has introduced various changes in recent times to make it easier for citizens to get their passports. Passport services are now available at various post offices as well and these are known as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK). These POPSKs have been hugely beneficial for people living in remote areas of the country.