Govt embarks on making country Islamic welfare state with cut in Hajj subsidy

Council of Islamic Ideology urges government to reinstate Hajj subsidy


Rizwan Ghilzai February 03, 2019
Council of Islamic Ideology called for state to provide Hajj subsidy . PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: After claiming to transform Pakistan into an Islamic welfare state similar to that of 'Riyasat-e-Madina', the government has rejected the very first recommendation presented by Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).

The CCI had declared the financial support for Hajj pilgrims as permissible and wanted the government to reinstate the subsidy.

The government, however, declined the proposal saying the Hajj pilgrimage was obligatory only for those who can afford its expenses, hence the subsidy funds were to be used for the welfare of masses in some other way.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the CCI members had decided the state was responsible for facilitating pilgrims, therefore the government should give a Hajj subsidy.

PTI govt abolishes subsidy on Hajj

The top clerics of the country resolved that the government subsidy was a form of facility rather than Zakat or charity. Moreover, financial support such as Hajj subsidy is given to different sectors on different occasions.

The CCI members had also maintained that Hajj expenditures varied across the world and that unlike Zakat, there was no means to measure Hajj expenditures.

The council also agreed that the government sets these expenditures as per the ongoing purchasing power.

Religious affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri suggested to subsidise food expenditures to be borne by the pilgrims, but most of the federal cabinet members had opposed the move.

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