Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Hajj policy 2019 was presented during the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday.
Expenses for Hajj will be divided into two zones. Expenses for the northern zone would be Rs436,975 and for the southern zone would be Rs427,975. The government will provide Rs45,000 subsidy per Hajji.
The cabinet was informed that 184,210 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year and applications would be accepted from 20 February. 60 per cent of the Hajj quota would be allocated to the government with the remaining 40 per cent for private operators.
People of 80 years and above will be able to perform Hajj without any draw. People who have been unsuccessful for three consecutive years will also not be required to enter the draw.
On Wednesday, Council of Islamic Ideology declared that the government could subsidize the sacred religious ceremony of Hajj in any shape without any discrimination.
CII Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, talking to the media after the conclusion of the two-day meeting of the council’s 214th sitting, said the council was of the view that there was no harm in facilitating the Hujjaj, Radio Pakistan reported.
The Bill was forwarded by Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for the council’s opinion on the issue.
The subsidy could be offered in transport fares, food, accommodations. Non-Muslim countries also facilitate the Hajj journey of their Muslim citizens, he added.
However, he said that the Hajj subsidy could not be paid from Zakat accounts.
The PML-N government had sanctioned subsidy of Rs45,000 for each pilgrim during its last tenure but now the PTI government is mulling over to formulate new Hajj policy for the next five years.