The Ministry of External Affairs gave this information to the Standing Committee of Parliament in response to its action in this matter. The Ministry informed that National Informatics Center (NIC) and National Informatics Center Services Inc. (NICSI) have submitted various project proposals to the Ministry which include Detailed Project Reports (DPRs), Commercial and Draft Agreements.
As per the report, the total estimated expenditure for launching the e-passport project by NIC is Rs 268.67 crore. This is mainly in terms of creation of information and technology infrastructure for issuing e-passports.
This was stated in the Action Taken Report by the Government on the Recommendations contained in the Twelfth Report of the Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs on ‘Demands for Grants of the Ministry of External Affairs for 2022-23’ in the Lok Sabha.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, it will take six months from the date of approval of the proposal received by the Ministry from NICSI to prepare the e-passport related arrangements under the Detailed Project Report (DPR). It has been said that after the planning framework is prepared, the ministry will get third party audit done, after which the issuance of e-passports to the citizens will be started.
The ministry told the parliamentary committee that “an estimated expenditure of Rs 268.67 crore would be incurred on this over a period of seven years.” The Ministry will be able to manage the e-passport project in the allocated amount. Rs 130.58 crore in the first year, Rs 25.03 crore in the second year, Rs 25.03 crore in the third year, Rs 25.03 crore in the fourth year under the project, according to the report of the committee headed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP PP Choudhary tabled in Parliament on Thursday. Rs, Rs 25.03 crore in the fifth year, Rs 24.46 crore in the sixth year and Rs 13.51 crore in the seventh year.
The parliamentary committee said it welcomes the fact that the ministry will be able to manage the e-passport project every year from its allocated funds without any cuts, but it needs to ensure that the desired funds are released every year.