The issue of shortage of blank passport booklets leading to inordinate delay in issuance of passports figured in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday with members demanding immediate intervention of the government.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, P Rajeev of the Communist Party of India-Marxist said, "Thousands of Indian citizens are waiting for their passports... The passport offices are not ready to accept applications even under Tatkal schme where it is mandatory to issue passport in three days as blank passport booklets are not available."
Rajeev said people are forced to apply through normal route where they are kept waiting for months due to shortage of booklets. He said according to reports the India security press in Nashik, which prints currency notes and blank passport booklets, is running on half of its capacity leading to non-availability of booklets.
"This has led to severe hardships to thousands of people who have put on hold their plans to travel aboard besides creating problems for job aspirants abroad," Rajeev said.
He said the government should immediately intervene and ensure timely delivery of passports to people.
A large number of members associated themselves with the demand.