Passport shortage to continue: official
The Afghan government had entered a contract with a UK-based commercial security printer and papermaker, De La Rue, which would start printing and distributing 400000 Afghan passport copies in 40 days, the passport office director in Kabul, Muhammad Ayub, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Payment for the deal had already been made to the company four months ago, he said, rejecting reports that the shortage had occurred few months earlier. He said the office ran out of passports two weeks ago and that at the movement, they had some copies to be issued for emergency travels.
"I had suggested the Ministry of Finance that one million passports must be printed to avoid any shortages and catch up with the back-log, but the ministry did not sanction the required money," Ayub said.
The finance ministry spokesman Aziz Shams rejected his claim, saying the ministry had provided the required fund to the office soon after it had requested.
"The reason behind a delay in printing is that the passport office first suggested printing computerized passports and then booklet passports while the agreement was already signed," Shams said.
According to Ayub, the distribution of computerized passports would start early next year.
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