The Hajj packages rates have been reduced by the private travel companies. This has made the government sponsored Hajj schemes more expensive in comparison to the packages offered by the private tour operators.
Now the tentative cost of private Hajj package will be somewhere around PKR 380,000.
A private tour operators association representative said that government is blaming taxes and increase in exchange rates for the increased cost of Hajj Packages.
He said, “We shall provide cheaper Hajj packages if the government entrusts us with the task.”
The Hajj Policy 2019 revealed that Rs156,975 will be increased in total Hajj expenses. For the pilgrim from the north regions the Hajj expenses will be raised by 56% and for the pilgrims from the south region the expenses will be increased by 58% respectively.
The pretext given by Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for increasing Hajj prices is exchange rates and raised airfare.
But if private companies have lowered their Hajj package prices, it seems ironical that the government has increased it without solid justification.
However, as per news reports due to strong reaction that the opposition parties and the general public the government is considering restoring the Hajj subsidy.
Read more: Government to revive Hajj Subsidy 2019
Also it is pertinent to mention here that the Hajj 2019 applications will be accepted from 20th February.