Saturday, May 15, 2010

Visa Services to Speed Up – Rupees 1000 Crores Allocated for the Plan

In a major relief for legitimate travelers and visa seekers, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved modernization and up gradation of immigration services as one of the Mission Mode Projects (MMP) to be undertaken by the home ministry under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).

The project titled Immigration, Visa and Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) is expected to help develop and implement a secure and integrated service delivery framework which makes life easy for legitimate travelers even while strengthening security. The total cost of the project is approximately Rs 1,011 crore.

‘‘Of this total project cost, Rs 132 crore is proposed to be spent during April 2010-June 2011 (Phase-I) with the remaining amount of Rs 879 crore earmarked for Phase-II (July 2011-September 2014),’’ said a statement issued by the government.

The National Institute for Smart Government (NSIG) was selected and tasked with the responsibility for generating a comprehensive e-Governance solution for the immigration, visa issuance and foreigners’ registration and tracking functions, and to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR).

The DPR has been finalized by NSIG in consultation with the ministries of home affairs and external affairs, Department of Information Technology, Bureau of Immigration and National Informatics Centre (NIC).

‘‘An elaborate list of services have been included in the DPR for streamlining and integrating visa, immigration, and foreigners registration and tracking process,’’ added the statement.

The services identified for inclusion are drawn with a focus on security, facilitation and enablement. Drawing from the global best practices and benchmarking, requisite service levels have also been indicated in the DPR.

This MMP has global outreach since the scope of the project includes 169 Missions, 78 ICPs (Immigration Check Posts), 7 FRROs (Foreigners Regional Registration Offices), and FROs (Foreigners Registration Offices) in the State/ District Headquarters. The implementation of this MMP is to be done in phases and the entire project is targeted to be completed by September 2014.