Govt mulls Hajj subsidy but warns pilgrims of ‘problems’ ahead

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Senator Talha Mahmood has expressed the wish that the government may additionally deliver a subsidy to the proceeding Hajjis however warned the pilgrims that they may face “troubles” in the course of the pilgrimage.

Talking to a private TV channel on Sunday, Mahmood maintained that the highly-priced Hajj may want to fee plenty much less however for that they have to deliver down the expenses.

“I am hopeful of extending a few subsidy to the intending Hajjis, but, we are dealing with a number of problems in the mean time,” he stated, warning that there might be plenty of issues all through Hajj but he is making an attempt to present maximum alleviation to the pilgrims.

The minister recalled that the federal government and the Ministry of Religious Affairs had given a subsidy of around Rs150,000 to pilgrims at some point of closing 12 months’s Hajj. “There isn’t any subsidy this time however if we’re capable of lower our expenses then we will give back that amount of cash to the pilgrims,” he elaborated.Mahmood similarly said “If God offers me any other opportunity then the subsequent year’s Hajj may be performed excellently. But in the mean time, our coverage is not right as there are numerous loopholes in the Hajj plan.”

While expressing displeasure approximately Aviation Ministry’s method, the minister stated that “PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) wishes the government to apply its service for transportation of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia but I am no longer satisfied with their service”.

He in addition said he had lately visited Saudi Arabia in reference to Hajj arrangements and the PIA flight by which he travelled was overdue by means of over two hours and even on return, it turned into one hour overdue. “The seats had been additionally now not cozy,” he delivered.

“It is as much as the PIA to suppose how they are able to enhance their service as his ministry will face the track if PIA flights are behind schedule by means of five hours in Saudi Arabia,” he said, including that even the Saudi civil aviation department was no longer happy with PIA’s performance.

Responding to a query, Mahmood declared that he will not draw any income from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. “I actually have by no means desired a salary from the authorities all my existence. I even do now not realize how a great deal profits I am entitled to. I spent from my own pocket during my current visit to Saudi Arabia,” he further stated.

Earlier, addressing a news convention in Islamabad on Saturday, Mahmood had said that 180,000 pilgrims might carry out Hajj this year, and the primary Hajj flight would depart on May 20 or May 21.

He had warned that action could be taken in opposition to private Hajj operators who would no longer fulfil their commitments. He had additionally stated that arrangements have been planned to be completed during Ramazan. “I cannot set up a super Hajj, but I will sincerely try to lessen the miseries of the general public during their pilgrimage,” he brought.

“When I assumed the Ministry’s rate, there have been no arrangements at all. I needed to go to Saudi Arabia urgently and now the Hajj operation has been set into movement. As many as 34,000 pilgrims went underneath the government scheme in 2022, and 45,000 went under the personal scheme,” Mahmood had said.

He had stated that 180,000 pilgrims could continue on Hajj this 12 months and they were evaluating this year’s Hajj preparations with 2019. “I am no longer yet satisfied with the arrangements and maybe I must go to Saudi Arabia once more. I am assured that the issues may be efficaciously resolved,” he had added.

The minister had stated that every one the Khuddam-ul-Hajj who evade their duty could face a three-day TA/DA deduction.

“In the second section, they will be deported. If the guarantees we made to the pilgrims aren’t fulfilled, I will make sure that they will additionally get blacklisted,” he had added.

He had similarly stated that the operators who deviate from their commitments would be fined as well.

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