ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has barred the designated branches of 13 scheduled banks from receiving Hajj applications under the government scheme from Monday.
In a circular issued in Islamabad, the ministry announced suspending its orders of Feb 17 which had directed the banks to start receiving hajj applications from Feb 24 to March 4.
It said the schedule of receiving hajj applications from intending pilgrims under the government scheme has been revised and new dates would be communicated shortly.
On Feb 14, the government had said the process for submission of Hajj application forms in the designated bank branches was most likely to be started from Feb 24.
This year a total of 179,210 pilgrims would perform the sacred obligation of Hajj including 60 percent of them under the government scheme and 40 percent under private scheme.
On Feb 11, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri had said the cabinet accorded approval to Hajj Policy 2020.
He had said this year the hajj quota of intending pilgrims from Pakistan was 1,79,200 and the efforts were being made to increase the number.