Is NADRA Intentionally Confusing the Nation or Is It Just the Incompetence?
10 months ago
NADRA is often referred to as one of the most technically advanced departments amongst all government authorities in Pakistan. It is responsible for the data of all Pakistanis whether they live home or abroad.
However, for an authority in charge of such a vast amount of personal information and touting to offer the best technical solutions for the public, NADRA is sorely lacking when it comes to administration. NADRA has already been criticized for employing improper security protocols for public data.
However, today we will talk about how NADRA’s own websites are confusing the whole nation.
Conflicting Information for the Public
For an online and connected department, NADRA seems to have too much conflicting information. We heard last year that normal CNICs were being phased out while Smart NIC cards were going to cost less and become the standard.
Take a look at a couple of screenshots from NADRA own website:
The public was told a few months ago that normal CNIC cards will be replaced by Smart NIC cards. Take a look at the first image and you’ll see fees for vanilla CNIC’s new application, modification, duplication and renewal offered using Normal, Urgent and Executive service options.
This information is either outdated or the media was misinformed by Chaudhary Nisar himself.
Take a look at the second image and you will see fees for normal CNIC reprint/duplication. When the card has already been phased out, why is there an option to reprint it?
It is difficult to understand how the above mentioned information could be outdated, since the fees for Smart NIC have been updated to what Chaudhary Nisar informed a few months ago. Miscommunication among the administration? Probably.
Smart NIC Fees
Next up, take a look at the Smart NIC fees for card modification, duplication and renewal. Both sections of the same website mention different fees. Where one says that the fee starts from Rs. 400 for Normal service, Rs. 800 for Urgent service and Rs. 1,600 for Executive service, the other says that you have to pay Rs. 1,500 for the same service when applying online.
We would like to mention here that when you apply online, you can only opt for Executive service (more on that later). NADRA assumes you know about it when you look at the fee chart (second screenshot).
The conflicting fees for CNIC or Smart NIC cancellation make no sense at all. Where one fee chart says it costs you just Rs. 50, the other mentions and astonishing and unbelievable Rs. 15,750.
It is as if they don’t want people to cancel their cards if they are no longer applicable. The contrasting fees make no sense. Why would anyone be willing to pay over Rs. 15,000 just to have their card canceled?
Secondly, who is responsible for the conflicting information and why has nobody noticed the day and night difference between the two?
Strange Online Application Choices
Throughout the world, online services are launched to reduce costs and rush at physical business centers. To do that, online services are promoted.
NADRA, however, is doing the opposite. There are no options to choose anything other than Executive service, so everyone ends up paying higher than the standard rate (Rs. 1,500 instead of Rs. 400) even though its costs less to use online services.
You also don’t get to apply for a new NIC online. Had this option been offered, it could have encouraged people to apply for NICs and keep their info updated.
Similar Conflicting Info for NICOP
Just like the CNIC and SNIC, NICOP and SNICOP seem to have the same conflicting information. NICOP is required by Pakistanis residing overseas. They have limited options to get information and such conflicting information could confuse them.
We won’t be repeating the same words again as the screenshots below speaks for themselves:
While we are at it, it is worth mentioning that NADRA’s online service doesn’t seem to be targeted towards everyone. It is as if the management wants people to come to the offices.
The online service does not offer any payment options other credit cards or online activated debit cards (limited options in Pakistan). With millions of people going for branchless banking and easy mobile payments, perhaps support for such services would be a lot more helpful.
We suggest that NADRA, being a government authority, should introduce as many payment options as possible for the ease of the general public.
By criticizing and finding such discrepancies in NADRA’s system, we want the authority to fix these issues and make the system better and easier for the general public. It would benefit everyone if the authority fixes these fee charts (we have no idea which one is correct), allows more options, introduces online new applications process and brings more payment options.
As always, we want our readers to share the news so that NADRA’s administration takes notice of these issues.