LAHORE: A petition has been filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the increase in Hajj expenses.
A citizen, Muhammad Irfan, submitted through his counsel that the government had increased the expenses without any reason. He said that a common pilgrim will now pay up to Rs350,000 under Hajj expenses. He alleged that the increase was a result of incompetence of Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The petitioner requested the court to set aside the increase in the Hajj expenses being illegal.
LHC chief justice will take up the petition on Friday.
The Federal Cabinet had granted its unanimous approval for Hajj Policy and Plan 2012 after reviewing it on April 25.
According to the new policy the Government Hajj Scheme would be divided into three categories of accommodation. The Blue Category within 900 meters without transport with a rental ceiling of Saudi Riyals(SR) 7500 per pilgrim, Green Category within 2000 meters with transport with a rental ceiling of SR 5000 per pilgrim and White Category beyond 2000 meters with transport with a rental ceiling of SR. 3600 per pilgrim will be arranged by Pakistan Hajj Mission, Jeddah.
Hujjaj under Government scheme will not be required to pay any amount on account of Personal Exchange Quota (PEQ) and such will be arranged by them from open market through banks or foreign exchange companies.
The policy had been finalised after the signing of a bilateral annual agreement between the Government of Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on February 22 which had reviewed and modified Hajj Policy 2011 on the basis of an in-depth analysis and consultation with all stakeholders through Hajj workshops at Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Quetta before being granted approval.