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Now passport in just 10 minutes!

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KATHMANDU — Good news for those applying to obtain machine readable passport (MRP)! Now a client can get a MRP within a day of submission of the application by paying a fee of Rs 15,000.

To begin the service expected to give a sigh of relief to the service seekers, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Sunday handed an MRP to Chandrakali Budathoki of Dhanauri, Dang within 10 minutes from the time she filed an application.

Operation of the service follows the government’s decision on June 5 in this regard.

Likewise, for those who want to procure MRP within two days, one has to pay Rs 12,000 each. Likewise, if one is ready to wait for three days, s/he can pay Rs 10,000.

Earlier, it would take a week to procure an MRP by paying Rs 10,000.

The Department of Passport under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that service seekers can get MRPs from their respective District Administration Offices within five to 15 days by paying Rs 5,000 for the same.

Earlier, it would take one month to get an MRP through the normal process by paying Rs 5,000.

Meanwhile, the Department today also launched a live enrollment system.

In the new system, a service seeker can fill out a digital application form from anywhere in their place of convenience, but they have to appear in person at the Department within 21 days for signature and cross-verification of their details.

Their digital details will get deleted automatically after 21 days of the submission of the application form.

Meanwhile on the occasion, DPM Thapa said that the system would become a milestone in the passport distribution history. He added that the government was actively working to provide MRPs to people at the district level too through the fast-track system.

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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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