By NewsGram Staff Writer
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju revealed that Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card scheme has been withdrawn in order to avoid prevailing confusion and to give more benefits to the applicants. He also notified that all existing PIO cards are deemed to be Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards in reply to a question by Mullappally Ramachandran and Ram Charitra Nishad in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
A total number of 2,34,418 Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards were issued in 2012, the year 2013 saw a sharp increase of 19,214. In the year 2014, only 2,20, 434 OCI cards were issued by the ministry of Home Affairs.
Process of streamlining and simplification with respect to issue of OCI cards is a continuous process. The promulgation of Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 in the first week of January was a big step towards this. Simultaneously, a mechanism has been activated for replacing PIO cards with OCI cards free of cost. The applicants can apply for OCI card through MHA’s website: https://passport.gov.in/oci
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