In spite of discontent and frustration among people for years, harassment and delay in getting passport seems untreatable. In a recent meeting the parliamentary standing committee on home ministry has also expressed displeasure on this continuing problem regarding getting passport and recommended delivery of the travel document in 15 days.
The parliamentary watchdog also recommended that if the Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) fail to deliver passport in 15 days then it must inform the person concerned beforehand in this regard. The meeting also raised question over the necessity of police verification for getting passport as there are continuing allegations that police clearance is not available without bribe and harassment. The meeting opined that as all the required information for getting passport can be ensured by the National Identity Card (NID) of a person so the police clearance or verification becomes meaningless.
Following the parliamentary body’s meeting on Tuesday, chairman of the committee Faruk Khan told reporters that the meeting also discussed about the necessity of police verification as the NID has all the required information. Taking cognizance of the matter regarding delaying and harassment in getting passport the matter was also discussed in the Jatiya Sangsad in 2012. Rafiqul Islam Bir Uttam, MP, served a notice with the parliament demanding cancellation of police verification system for getting passport.
In 2011, the Department of Immigration and Passport also served a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs asking demolition of police verification system. However, the branch of police that deal with police verification raised strong objection against the DIP proposal. In August this year, a research report of the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) mentioned of various harassment and corruption in delivering passport and recommended cancellation of police verification for getting passport.
There are also allegations that Bangladeshi workers face problem in their workplaces due to delay in renewal of their passports. However, director general of the Department of Immigration and Passports Major General Shakil Ahmed informed the parliamentary watchdog that errors in providing information such as name of parents, date of birth etc. often cause delay in passport renewal.