SC directs Nadra to justify exorbitant fee for expats

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to submit a reply for charging excessive fee from overseas Pakistanis for issuance and cancellation of identity cards.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Mian Saqib Nisar, heard a suo moto case regarding the charging of exorbitant fee from overseas Pakistanis for issuance and cancellation of Pakistan origin card (POC).

The court directed Nadra to inform as to how the rates for issuance and cancellation of the card were fixed. The CJ took suo moto notice of the practice of charging exorbitant fee for issuance and cancellation of the POC causing financial burden to overseas Pakistanis. 

The overseas Pakistanis are paying $100 to Nadra for preparation of the POC, but it had been increased to $150. The unnecessary increase in fee has discouraged the overseas Pakistanis to get the card.

During the course of hearing, the CJ asked the Nadra chairman whether or not there was some mechanism to fix different fees.  The CJ questioned whether the fee is charged on the whims of officials and whether there is any working paper to determine the prices.

The CJ noted that $16 is charged from an ordinary citizen for issuance of Executive Smart Cards. He said that if the Nadra chairman has any justification then he must inform the court.

The chairman, however, said that since 2012 the rate for issuance and cancellations of card to overseas Pakistanis has not changed. He said that the Pakistanis living in Europe have to pay $72 for normal and $83 for the urgent card and for Executive Card the fee is $100. 

He said that Pakistanis who rescind Nadra then they apply for Pakistani Origin Card. The normal rate of it is $150, while for urgent $200 are charged and $250 are for the Executive Origin Card.

Meanwhile, the court directed the chairman to inform about the rates, fixed for cancellation and issuance of the Nadra cards and adjourned the hearing for date-in-office. The News

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