The National Database and Registration Authority Nadra increases CNIC fee massively to more than double before the general elections 2018 commences. Millions of poor Pakistanis are struggling to get their computerized ID cards ahead of elections so they can cast vote for change, Nadra in the meantime doubles the fee in all categories.
The Federal Government via statutory notification (SRO) has imposed fee increment for CNICs in all categories more than 100%. While the fee is increased by more than 100% in all categories the urgent category fee is increased by 300%.
All Pakistani citizens must possess a CNIC to cast vote in the upcoming elections and Nadra has thrown another bomb on poor people who are already struggling to get their ID cards to participate in elections or for any other purposes.
Before imposing new fees, the National Identity Card Rules 2002 was amended in the exercise of the powers conferred under section 44 of Nadra Ordinance 2000. According to the notification issued by the interior ministry, the normal fees for CNICs has been increased from Rs200 to Rs400, the urgent fee category has seen a massive increase from Rs300 to Rs1150 and the fee for executive CNIC (Teslin-based) has been increased from Rs1000 to Rs2150.
In addition, the fee for the normal smart card having chip has been increased from Rs400 to Rs750, the urgent category of smart card has seen an increment from Rs800 to Rs1500 and executive smart card jumped from Rs1600 t0 Rs2500.
Moreover, the fees for National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) have also been fixed. The normal NICOP (chip-based card) fee is $39 while urgent NICOP is fixed at $57 and executive NICOP at $75. These are the rate for Zone-A countries including US, Canada, and Europe. However, the Middle Eastern countries fall in Zone-B with the rates $20, $30 and $40 for normal, urgent and executive NICOPs respectively.
A senior official from Nadra said the Supreme Court ordered to remove subsidy on CNICs and Nadra was giving Rs40 subsidy on all ID cards. When asked, the after the removal of subsidy each card fee should have been increased by Rs40 rather than 100% to 300% increase, the official failed to reciprocate properly with reasonable answer, he also failed to come up with suitable answer when asked how Nadra was able to turn over millions of rupees while giving Rs40 subsidy on cards.