Hajj 2018 is expected to get more expensive, as Saudi Arabia imposed five percent tax on all the Hajj services and has denied allotting any additional quota for the Hajj pilgrims to Pakistan.
As per sources, Saudi Arabia government has informed to the Ministry of Religious Affairs’ officials relating the tax imposition and about the denial to additional quota.
Sources reveal that the five percent tax imposed on the pilgrims is for using the services like transportation, residence and other during their stay in the Kingdom.
This year as many as one lac seventy-nine thousand two hundred and ten Pakistani pilgrims would be traveling to Saudi Arab for performing Hajj via the government and private Hajj schemes.
As per the new policy, the Hajj 2018 quota under the private Hajj scheme has been reduced to thirty three percent, against which the private Hajj tour operators launched their protests in different courts of the country.
Sources additionally informed that Pakistan has asked the Saudi officials for allotting more Hajj quota according to the new census, so that the government could allocate more quota to the private Hajj tour operators, but the Saudi Arab’s government has denied any more allocation to quota due to the lack of capacity in Mina.
Pakistan officials have also told the Kingdom officials regarding the starting of bio-metric system in Pakistan and has requested the Saudi Arab government to exempt the bio-metric verification at Saudi airports.
It was expected that the effects of Saudi Arabia’s imposed five percent tax and decrease in the value of rupee would be causing the pilgrims to have a costly trip. However, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has already taken the responsibility of bearing the extra expenses.
Private Hajj tour operators said that the new Saudi taxes would be affecting them more.