ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs on Wednesday expressed serious reservations over misappropriation of Hajj funds and irregularities made in Hajj 2012.
The Committee met under the chairmanship of Hafiz Hamdullah and was attended by members of the committee Zahida Khan, Muhammad Saleh Shah, Hamza, Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq and Haji Khan were also present in the meeting.
Hafiz Hamdullah said that the ministry had hired two buildings on Medina Road Makah for Saudi Riyal 2900 while others countries had hired buildings in the same area at the cost of 1500 Saudi Riyals which caused Rs275 million loss to the national exchequer.
Further, Hamdullah said that the ministry had forked out Saudi Riyal 300 per head bus rent for Hujjaj residing in Azizya while India hired buses for the same exercise at Saudi Riyals 120.
On the issue of contractor Salamn Arain hired by the government, Hamdullah raised concerns over the exorbitant rates being charged. He said the Canadian National would be paid Saudi Riyal 120 for services of each muawin to serve the Hujjaj and in turn every muawin would be paid Riyals 70- 80 by the contractor. The chairman called for an investigation into the matter.
An Official from the Ministry said that a team of 330 mauveneen-i-Hujjaj would perform duties for the welfare of pilgrims and the contingent of Khuddam has been drawn from civil armed forces and public sector organisations.
As per schedule, first Hajj flight will leave for Saudia Arabia on September 19 and the last flight will leave on October 19. The official said the government has hired 153 buildings for the Hujjaj and all buildings have been newly constructed.
Hamdullah alleged that Haji Ghulam Lashari, Director Hajj Rafah Shah, Kamran Butt and Manzoor were involved in the embezzlements.
The committee expressed its annoyance over the absence of Managing Director Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from the meeting and directed to serve them show cause notices. The committee also expressed its annoyance over the absence of Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs and summoned him in its meeting to be held on October 2. MD PIA,DG CAA and banks officials were summoned in the next meeting with the relevant records.
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