The opposition senators on Friday blasted at the high increase in Hajj expenses of 2019 approved by the federal cabinet on Thursday. They termed the price hike in Hajj expenses as a drone attack on the Hajj pilgrims, as per the reports of ARY News.
The Chairman Senate instructed the Finance Minister to offer a subsidy for the pilgrims, while the government gave assurance about the reconsideration of the policy for decreasing the Hajj expenses.
It is important to mention that the government in its newly defined Hajj policy has withdrawn subsidy on the pilgrimage, which has surged the expenses by Rs.1,76,000 for each pilgrim and the overall amount for pilgrimage has reached to Rs.4,56,000.
Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami is his attention notice in the Senate session called the first presented Hajj policy of the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as disappointing. He further added that the government has even refused a subsidy demand of Rs. 45,000 from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.
Ali Muhammad Khan—the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs while giving explanation said that the government has paid 70 percent of the Hajj expenses in advance to the government of Saudi Arabia, which has boosted the travel, lodging and boarding expenses. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government has let the Hajj amount of 2017 the same for the Hajj 2018. He referred it as a misstatement that the pilgrims are being halted from offering the pilgrimage.
The finance minister was instructed to extend the subsidy for the pilgrimage, while the government gave assurance to reconsider the policy for reducing the Hajj expenses.
Previously, the opposition senators stage a walkout from the Senate in order to protest against the absence of ministers in the session and the failure of the government to table the PMDC bill in the Senate.