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Govt stops free conversion of PIO cards to OCI cards in New Year

New Delhi: The people of Indian origin will have to pay fees in New Year if they wish to convert their identity cards to Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards as the government has stopped the scheme of free conversion effective from Monday, a Home Ministry official said.
The scheme of converting the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards to OCI cards free of the cost comes to an end as a decision has been taken not to give any more extension beyond December 31, the official said. However, the change of PIO cards to OCI cards would continue on payment of fees.
"The deadline will not be extended further as the bulk of people - around 30 lakh - have already converted their PIO cards into OCI cards," the official said. The Home Ministry had extended the deadline on four occasions. The fee is being worked out by the ministry and will be announced soon.
The PIO card was first implemented in 2002 as a benefit to foreign nationals who could establish at least a third generation tie to an Indian
origin.
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