Govt to refund up to Rs58,000 to pilgrims

ISLAMABAD 3rd July: Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri has said the government has decided to refund Rs25,000 to Rs58,000 to each pilgrim on account of hiring cheap residential buildings and saving transport and other expenditures in Saudi Arabia.

“The cabinet has decided to distribute the additional Hajj quota of 4,316 people, granted by Saudi Arabia, among the government scheme pilgrims through transparent balloting,” Qadri said while briefing media on Tuesday about decisions taken by the federal cabinet on Tuesday.

He said about 200,000 Pakistanis would perform the Hajj this year and 123,316 among them would perform Hajj under the government scheme.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, who was also present at the press conference, said the government wants to make a scandal-free arrangement for Hajj and to ensure optimum facilities for the pilgrims.

The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan would inaugurate ‘Road to Makkah Project’ and would also see Hajj pilgrims off at the Islamabad airport on July 4.

“Under the project, immigration of the pilgrims would be conducted at the Islamabad Airport, for which a team of 51 Saudi officials has already arrived in Pakistan,” he said, adding that special immigration counters have already been established at the airport.

“The step would help save the precious time of pilgrims at the Jeddah Airport where they had to wait for 12 to 14 hours in the past. Their luggage would also directly land at their respective residences,” he said.
After the cabinet’s approval, Religious Affairs Federal Secretary Mushtaq Ahmed conducted third balloting for Hajj 2019 by pushing a button. 4, 316 applicants were selected after the process.

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