By Staff Reporter
Cabinet yesterday set new fee for an ordinary passport at US$60 or its equivalent in the local currency while fee for emergency passports that can be produced within three days has been reviewed up to US$200.
According to Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services, Monica Mutsvangwa, Cabinet noted that failure to provide passports on time is causing inconveniences to citizens with the current passport backlog at 256 000.
“Thus passport fees were reviewed to US$60; and $200 for a three-day passport issuance, pegged at the average US$:ZW$ exchange rate. An emergency 24-hours passport remains pegged at a cost of US$318.00. This will ensure appropriate cost-factored passport revenue. E-Passport fees are pegged at US$80.00.
“Cabinet noted that failure to provide passports on time is causing inconveniences to citizens, with the current backlog now at 256 000. The passport production factory has an installed production capacity of 8 000 passport booklets per day. However, the passport personalisation capacity is way below at 2 500 passports per day, while the installed quality assurance is further down at 2 000 passports per day.
“Foreign currency is required for the off-shore procurement of consumables. However, the current fees payable is the local currency are no longer viable due to the fact that the auction exchange rate, when applied to the fees charged translate to unviable returns on expenses. The production cost for a single passport is US$58.55,” she said.
Treasury will provide US$ 4.5 million to purchase required equipment and consumables in order to increase operational efficiency and expedite production to clear the backlog.
“The public is assured that passports issuance services will run uninterrupted until the backlog is cleared. The passport issuance shifts will be increased to three in order to expedite production. New machines are being acquired in order to improve operations. The training of personnel to work on the passport issuance programme will commence immediately,” she said.