LAHORE - Jamaat-i-Islami Spokesman Amirul Azeem has condemned the hundred percent raise in the fee of the issuance of computerized national identity cards (CNIC) and called for its immediate withdrawal.

In a letter to the Chairman NADRA on Friday, he said it seemed that instead of providing identity to the citizens, NADRA was selling its own identity to the people.

Amirul Azeem said it was the constitutional responsibility of the government to provide identity to its citizens and the governments carried on their duties through the taxes collected from the general public. He said that certain departments charged nominal amounts for the forms etc., for completing the office work.

The JI Spokesman said the fee being charged for the issuance of CNIC was already higher than in the neighbouring countries and any increase in it was totally unjustified. Besides, he said the present government was about to complete its term and any decision in this respect should have been left to the next government. He said it was a pity that the business minded rulers were increasing the burden of taxes and levies on the general public, and asked how could such rulers check the private sector from taking such decisions.    

Amirul Azeem asked NADRA Chairman to inform the general public how much amount NADRA had been collecting from the issuance of CNICs annually besides the amounts collecting from other heads.

The federal government through a statutory notification (SRO) has increased the fee for CNICs in all categories more than hundred percent.

The fee has been doubled in all the categories while in the category of urgent CNIC the fee has been increased up to 300 percent.

Any citizen of Pakistan must have the CNIC to cast his/her vote in elections and the Nadra has imposed a more financial burden on the poor masses who are already struggling to get the CNICs from the authority to participate in the election process.

 

The fee in all categories has been increased by amending National Database and Registration Authority (National Identity Card) Rules 2002 in the exercise of the powers conferred under section 44 of Nadra Ordinance 2000.

 

According to the notification of the interior ministry, the normal fees of the CNICs has been increased from Rs200 to Rs400, urgent fee has been increased from Rs300 to Rs1150 and the fee of executive CNIC (Teslin-based) has been increased from Rs1,000 to Rs2,150.

 

Similarly, the fee of the normal smart card (chip-based CNIC) has been increased from Rs400 to Rs750, the urgent smart card from Rs800 to Rs1,500 and executive smart card from Rs1,600 to Rs2,500.

 

The new rates of NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) have also been fixed. The fee of normal smart NICOP (chip-based card) has been fixed at $39, urgent NICOP $57 and executive NICOP at $75 for Zone-A countries including Europe, the US and Canada while Middle East countries, which fall in Zone-B category, the new rates for smart NICOP (chip-based) normal has been fixed at $20, $30 for urgent and $40 for executive smart NICOP. According to the notification, $3 less would be charged for all categories of NICOPs having Teslin-based cards (without chip)