Cabinet approves amendments in 'Hajj Policy 2024'

Cabinet approves amendments in 'Hajj Policy 2024'

The Federal Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments in the Hajj Policy 2024 under which children below 10 years of age will also be eligible to perform Hajj.

According to details, the federal cabinet, which met in Islamabad today with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in the chair, also decided to return the un-availed quota of government and private Hajj Schemes to the Saudi government.

Besides, a foolproof monitoring system, as per laws of the Saudi government, will be in place to regulate financial matters of Hajj Groups organizers.

Flexibility will be allowed with regard to the condition for Hajj Scheme pilgrims of over 80 years of age. However, the private Group Organizers will sign an agreement with the pilgrims to hire local attendants during their stay in Saudi Arabia.

This very point will be included in the agreement for provision of services and Hajj Group Organizers found violating this will be fined and black listed.

The meeting also sanctioned reduction in the hardship Hajj quota. A total of 50 percent quota of hiring the local supporters would be dedicated to those Pakistani students who are studying in different universities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their deployment would be made as welfare staff.

It is pertinent to mention that the Federal Cabinet, in its previous meeting, had constituted a committee to further improve the Hajj Policy 2024 and new amendments have been made in light of the recommendations of the committee.
The cabinet allowed imposition of 40 percent tax on the windfall profit of banks earned during 2021 and 2022.
The federal cabinet, upon the recommendation of the interior ministry, also approved inclusion of Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Kyrgyz Democrat in the business visa list.
It also allowed removal of the names of 18 persons from the Exit Control List (ECL) whereas placing of 9 other names in the list on the advice of the interior ministry.

Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved a budget of Rs267.59 million for the Jammu and Kashmir State property for the current fiscal year. It instructed preparation of draft insurance of accession with regard to ratification of Hong Kong International Convention 2009 to ensure safe and environment friendly recycling of ships.

The cabinet exempted Rule No 8, 13, 35, 38 and 40 of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules 2004 for the procurement of 200,000 metric tons of urea from the international market.

The meeting also approved holding of negotiations on Bilateral Investment Treaties with Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the recommendation of the Investment Board.