Govt may revive subsidy for Hajj pilgrims

Published: February 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: In view of the strong reaction by the opposition parties and the general public, the federal government has started contemplating restoring the Hajj subsidy.

Sources said Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri is trying to persuade Prime Minister Imran Khan to revisit the decision taken by the federal cabinet last week to end the subsidy, which has significantly increased the Hajj expenses.

They said the Ministry of Religious Affairs after approval of the PM would once again send to the federal cabinet a summary to restore the subsidy. The ministry’s spokesperson said the cabinet has not given final approval to the Hajj policy.

“In Islam, there is no concept of subsidy on Hajj. However, the government is trying to provide food to the pilgrims,” he added.  According to senior officers of the ministry, a subsidy on Hajj can be given despite announcement of the Hajj policy.

The government on Thursday decided to abolish the financial support given to pilgrims. The decision was taken during a federal cabinet meeting chaired by the prime minister.

The cabinet was briefed on the Hajj policy 2019 and told that the Ministry of Religious Affairs had decided to grant a subsidy of Rs45,000 to each pilgrim. However, the cabinet approved the policy after withdrawing the subsidy.

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