ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Sunday said ,”Hajj dues had not been increased this year in order to further facilitate the intending pilgrims”
Talking to PTV, he said Rs 280,000 would be paid by the intending pilgrims of North region, while Rs 270,000 would be received from the intending pilgrims going to perform Hajj from South Region.
The government Hajj scheme quota ratio had been enhanced further on public demand, he added.
A total of 179,210 Pakistanis would perform the sacred religious obligation this year, 67 percent will perform Hajj from government scheme and 33 percent under private scheme.
A quota of 10,000 has been allocated for the applicants of over 80 years of age for hajj 2018. If the number of applicants exceeds 10,000 mark the successful would be selected through balloting, he said adding that the applicants who remained unsuccessful in last consecutive three years would be selected through normal balloting.
A total of 10,000 of such persons would be selected through a separate balloting, he said.
He said a person having performed Hajj through Government Scheme has been declared not eligible for applying for Hajj only exception is mehram accompanying a woman for Hajj.
Replying to a question , he said the government would table a bill in the parliament regarding Hajj and Umrah and hoped that it would be done before holding the next general elections in the country.
The minister said the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government had been providing best facilities to Hajj pilgrims including residence, food,transports and medical from last four years.
Sardar Yousaf said that the prime minister has ordered the ministry to provide maximum facilities and the best possible arrangements to the pilgrims.
International Machine Readable Passport having validity of upto February 20, 2019, Computerised National Identity Card and Medical certificate would be mandatory.
He said Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be allotted quota through transparent mechanism. HGOs would have to deposit five percent of their package amount to ministry as security deposit which is returnable after Hajj. –APP