Islamabad (Staff Report): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday approved Hajj Policy 2017 during a cabinet meeting.

Hajj expenses will also be reworked and presented again in the next cabinet meeting as a proposal to increase the cost of Hajj packages has been rejected by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the information minister said.

The package includes facilities like air-conditioned buses to transport pilgrims from the airport, provision of three meals a day during Mashair – with filtered water and proper cooking systems in each maktab in Mina.

About 179,210 pilgrims will offer Hajj this year – out of which 107,216 will go through the quota set aside for the government’s scheme.

Pakistan's Hajj quota — which was reduced to 143,368 in 2013 — has been restored to 179,210, while the Saudi Hajj Ministry has additionally been requested to enhance Pakistan's quota by at least 15,000 on the basis of the current population of the country.

Airfare for the government scheme remains priced at PKR 95, 000 for the North and PKR86, 000 for the South – the same as 2016.