Government Hajj scheme package undergo drastic changes with big rise in expenditures
ISLAMABAD - The Government Hajj Scheme package is most likely to go up significantly due to various reasons including increase in dollar-rupee parity ratio, overall inflation and possible withdrawal of subsidy. According to official sources, the subsidy paid to government scheme pilgrims by the federal government last year, was likely to be withdrawn this year. The Hajj package of government scheme is likely to hover between Rs380,000 to 420,000 per pilgrim.
Ministry has sought subsidy of Rs40,000 for each Government Scheme Haji. In case of availability of subsidy, the government Hajj package would be around Rs380,000 and in case of discontinuation of subsidy, the government Hajj package would be Rs420,000. The sources said that the new Hajj policy could be announced on January 20 after approval of the federal cabinet. The applications for performing Hajj under Government Hajj Scheme would be invited from the general public January 20, 2019.
This year over 184,210 Pakistanis would perform Hajj, the source said adding that according to Hajj agreement inked between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia last year, the immigration and other formalities of 35,000 intending Hujjaj from Sindh will be completed at Karachi airport. The ministry was contemplating to retain the quota for government and private Hajj operators by 60:40 respectively, source said adding that the ministry has proposed open sky policy for airlines to transport Hujjaj to Saudi Arabia. The Hajj dues of the applicants would be kept in Sharia Complaint remunerative accounts. Pakistanis will be given E-visas. The hajj days during 2019 might be cut down from existing 40 to 30 days. Food facilities for pilgrims would be improved further. Hujjaj, who performed Hajj during last seven to ten years could be banned from submitting applications. Pilgrims of over 75 years of age could be exempted from participating in Hajj balloting.
The Hajj dues of the applicants would be kept in Sharia Complaint remunerative accounts. Pakistanis will be given E-visas. The Hujjaj, who performed Hajj during last seven to ten years could be banned from submitting applications. Pilgrims of over 75 years of age could be exempted from participating in Hajj balloting. The additional 5,000 quota would be distributed among newly enrolled Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs). The quota of old HGOs would not be increased or decreased. Quota would be given to 80 or 100 new companies.
The source also informed that the ministry had already asked the Saudi authorities for increasing the Hajj quota for Pakistanis from 20,000 to 30,000.
Meanwhile,Association of Pakistan Enrolled Companies (AEPC),Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has claimed filing a writ petition in Supreme Court of Pakistan, on what they said discrimination in the allotment of quota to new hajj group organisers.