The Modi government in January this year announced abolishing of Haj subsidy completely. The idea was to ensure that travel agencies/airlines getting benefit out of the subsidy could be done away with and the money be put to better use for the welfare of the minorities.
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while speaking EXCLUSIVELY to Republic says, “We have been able to arrive at a figure of 57 crores (INR) which will be the amount we wont have to pay to airlines for all those Haj pilgrims who will travel through the Haj Committee of India. This figure could go upto 100 crores soon.”
Highlighting further Naqvi said, “In 2017, a total of Rs 1030 crore was paid to airlines for air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims. Whereas, in 2018, a total of Rs 973 crore will be paid to airlines for 1,28,702 Haj pilgrims, going through Haj Committee of India. Its a direct saving of 57 crores.”
The Central Minister also elaborates, “This was the money that could well be used for the benefit of the community. We intend to spend it on the welfare of people and on education, especially of the girl child.”
This comes in at a time when Saudi Arabia has added various new taxes. However the Hajis from India will not bear any additional financial burden.
3,55,604 applications had been received for Haj 2018 which included 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 female applicants. For the first time Muslim women from India are also going to Haj without “Mehram” (male companion). A total of 1308 women are going to Haj this year without “Mehram” for the first time ever in India.
It may be noted that 3,55,604 applications were recevied for Haj this year. Out of those 1,89,217 male and 1,66,387 females. Also out of these 1308 women will do Haj without “Mehram” (Male companion)
Flights for Haj will be flying from 14th July.