Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bureaucratic Delhi

I am amazed by the level of bureaucracy in Delhi. This is coming from a lowly student who just wants to be here for 1 year and get out as fast as possible. I wonder what business people who want to set up base here have to go through. To get a mobile line, one has to have a copy of passport and passport photo, ditto for a internet modem. If you will be in India for more than 3 months, you need to register with FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) within 2 weeks of arrival. This will require you to fill an online form, print it out, attach a copy of your passport, 3 passport photos, letter from your employer (in India) or school or something that explains your business in India, evidence of your permanent India address and deliver this to their office on an appointed day that you will receive. Thankfully, if you have all the documents in order, you will be in and out in a couple of hours. Then comes application for gas connection which requires a passport photo, passport copy and proof of residence. The landlord will require passport copy, visa copy, passport photos (like 4 of them), letter from your employer and FRRO certificate. The bank is the most ridiculous. One of their conditions to open an account was that I must make an initial deposit of 10,000 rupees using a cheque drawn from an Indian bank....... I almost pulled my hair out.... thankfully, I had just cut it short the previous day... which is a story for another day. And by the way, I was told about this requirement in 3 different banks. The fourth bank did not have such a requirement so I breathed a sigh of relief and gave them the documents they needed. After 2 days, they call and say they cannot activate my account because I need to take to them a letter from the hospital and a copy of my hospital id. So I tell them I will work on getting the letter. When I request for the letter from the hospital registrar, he gives me a look to suggest I must be very new here then goes on to say "Ve have never received such a request before, no. This is quite unusual. Ve have no protocol for writing such a letter (head nod). I am afraid ve can't help you!"...... as in what is that? Now I am waiting for the bank to be gracious and accept just my hospital id copy The cyber cafes are also a tough cookie to crack. They need to see your passport and probably have a copy with you and sign in a book before you can use their computers.  Oh and by the way, all documents will require you to write your fathers name. I understand that this is because the Indian names are so similar that it helps avoid confusion. 

After running out of passport photos, I realised why they have shops that take 45 passport photos for 50 rupees. I thought it was a joke untill I realised just how many passport photos one needs here and had to get my 45 photos done.


  1. LOL.... velcome to India (head nod)... ROTFL...

    Truly God has great things in store for you my guy

  2. sijui nicheke ama nilie. countdown of the year.

  3. 45 passport photos!!! LOL! To think when we took 8 when we were registering the company and opening the bank accounts we thought we had taken many!!

  4. No wonder Indians do business in Kenya. Gawsh, they must be throwing a bash at how we make it easy for them to move around here. Maybe we need to have a paradigm shift and give them a taste of their own medicine? #amjustsaying :-)

  5. I can't stop laughing. That is lots of bureaucracy. Why are we always asked to simplify doing business here in Kenya?