Saudi imposes additional fee for Muslims who want to perform multiple pilgrimages

Published: August 1, 2017
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 PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: In order to discourage the practice of multiple pilgrimages the Saudi government has imposed an additional fee of SAR2,000 for those who performed hajj in either of the past three years (2014, 2015, 2016) and still wish to perform the holy sojourn in the current year.

An official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs confirmed to The Express Tribune that the Saudi government took the decision to avoid unnecessary rush and to give chance to new people, by discouraging those who have repeatedly performed Hajj.

Federal cabinet approves new Haj policy

The official said that the Saudi Government last year had also imposed an additional fee on those pilgrims who were performing Umrah repeatedly.

While sharing details the official said that according to the Saudi government, pilgrims who have performed Hajj in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and will be performing this year as well, under both government and private schemes, will have to pay an additional fee of 2000 Saudi Riyal.

“Therefore, now around 636 Pakistani pilgrims who will be performing Hajj this year, under the government scheme, will have to pay the fee,” he said.

The official said that the amount will either be paid in Saudi Arabia, when they collect their passports, or they can pay it to the ministry once they return in October. He added that those who will be performing Hajj through a private tour operator will have to pay this amount to their tour operator.

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The official while defending the Saudi government’s decision said that the number of people going for Hajj is increasing every year which increases the risk of unnecessary accidents such as stampedes. Therefore, this new rule will help the Saudi government improve Hajj management to avoid any untoward situation, he added.

While sharing the hajj details he said that this year 179, 210 Pakistanis will be performing Hajj and 92 hajj flights carrying 20,000 pilgrims have left for Saudi Arabia since July 24.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Saad
    Aug 1, 2017 - 10:30AM

    Quote: “Therefore, now around 636 Pakistani pilgrims who will be performing Hajj this year, under the government scheme, will have to pay the fee,” he said. Unquote.

    If this is true, then that’s a big question mark on the entire balloting and pre-balloting screening phases. As per Hajj Policy 2017, a person who has performed Hajj in the last 7 years through the Government scheme and in the last 5 years through Private Scheme is not eligible this time around. And Hajj-e-Badal can only be performed through the Private Scheme.

    So keeping the above in mind, I don’t quite understand how these 636 persons became eligible for Hajj. Recommend

  • Tariq
    Aug 1, 2017 - 11:34AM

    A person can perform Hajj every year if he is acting as a Mehram who qualify for the balloting. Recommend

  • AK
    Aug 1, 2017 - 12:39PM

    The idea doesn’t seem to reduce the rush rather Saudi government want to have more streams of revenues.

    Thye could easily identify and reject visas for those who are applying for Hajj again and have performed in last three years.Recommend

  • ahsan
    Aug 1, 2017 - 12:41PM

    @saad he can be a mehramRecommend

  • Rehan
    Aug 1, 2017 - 12:49PM

    Only 2000 SAR (PKR 60k!!)? It should be atleast 20,000 SAR for real discouragement Recommend

  • Ahmad Pesnani
    Aug 1, 2017 - 1:53PM

    Isnt this Saudi’s additional fee Un-islamic given that they are preventing people from visit of Allah’s house. Who has permitted them? Isnt this additional fee comes under domain of **Riba / Interest; something taken over an above without any business deal??Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 1, 2017 - 1:58PM

    @Saad,
    Not only that, this means those 636 people are ‘well conencted’ people and so most probalby wont pay the additinal SAR 2000 riyals (roughly around 55,000 PKR) and it will also be beared by the taxpayers.Recommend

  • JAM
    Aug 1, 2017 - 2:18PM

    @Saad:
    one can perform hajj if he is a mehram of lady who didnt performed hajj in past 7 years in govt hajj scheme.Recommend

  • Imran Qadri
    Aug 1, 2017 - 2:51PM

    Saad by acting as mehram of a female relative. Recommend

  • mas
    Aug 1, 2017 - 5:51PM

    Also there are people who are organizers who also perform Haj every and are organizer due to their prior experience to manage during Haj.Recommend

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