Abu Dhabi: Indian expatriates have expressed anguish over the hike in fees of Indian passports which came into force on Monday.
Some expatriate organisations said they are planning campaigns to demand a rollback of the increased fees.
They say the hike will hit ordinary workers hard — they constitute about 65 per cent of the Indian population in the UAE.
Shamseer Singh, a social worker said it was unfair to increase passport renewal fees by almost 50 per cent.
“Most of the workers are living far away from cities and they have to shell out huge amounts on taxis to reach the city for passport renewal. They can’t afford this much of an increase,” he said.
An Indian Embassy statement said the fee was revised as per a Government of India order.
The fee for the renewal of an ordinary passport has been increased from Dh150 to Dh285.
The fees for the Tatkal category (emergency passports) have been revised to Dh855 from Dh700.
Additional fees charged for a 60-page jumbo booklet have been increased from Dh40 to Dh95.
Fees charged in the case of lost, stolen or damaged passports have been revised from Dh505 to Dh570, the embassy said.
Kerala Social Centre in Abu Dhabi will coordinate, along with other expatriate organisations in the capital, a campaign against the hike, K.B. Murali, the president of the centre said.
M.K,Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said the embassy did not have any role in the hike.
“It is a Government of India decision.”