Muhammad Yusuf—Minister Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said that the dues for Hajj have not been raised this year in order to provide ease to the willing pilgrims.
While conversing with the Pakistan Television he informed that a total of rupees two lac eight thousand needs to be paid by the intending pilgrims of the North region, whereas rupees two lac seventy thousand needs to be paid by the intending pilgrims of the South region.
He added that the Hajj quota ratio has been revised and increased on public demand.
A total of one lac seventy-nine thousand two hundred and ten pilgrims from Pakistan would be travelling to Saudi Arab for performing Hajj this year, out of which sixty-seven percent would perform Hajj under the government scheme while the remaining thirty-three percent would be fulfilling the obligation under the private scheme.
A reserved quota has been set for the applicants who are of the age above eighty years for the Hajj season 2018. If the applicants number exceeds the ten thousand marks, then the successful applicants would be selected through balloting.
Additionally, the people who remained unsuccessful to go for Hajj in the last three years although they applied consecutively would also be selected via the normal balloting. A total count of ten thousand of such individuals would be selected via a separate balloting.
He added that the people who have already performed Hajj under the Government scheme have been declared not eligible for applying for Hajj again via the government scheme, however, if they applied as to accompany a woman as Mahram then they would be allowed.
He said that the government would pass a bill in the parliament relating the Hajj and Umrah and hoped that this bill would be passed before the general elections of 2018.
Sardar Yousuf said that the ministry has been instructed by the Prime Minister to provide the best possible facilities and arrangements to the pilgrims.
He said that the Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be given quota via the transparent mechanism. The HGOs need to deposit five percent of their package amount with the ministry as security deposit which would be returned after the Hajj.