On Thursday, the Ministry of Religious Affairs admitted before a Senate panel that pilgrims will have to pay Rs 1,15000 more to perform Hajj this year.
The Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony was informed by the concerned secretary that rupee depreciation and airfare hike forced the government to increase the Hajj cost.
Senator Molana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the panel’s chairman expressed displeasure at the start of the meeting over the absence of Federal Minister for Religious Affair and Inter-Faith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri.
“About 1,79000 people will be able to go on holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year,” said the religious affairs secretary.
He said this year’s Hajj package has seen an increase of Rs 1,15000 as the North Region’s package will cost Rs 5,50000 and the South Region will cost 5, 45000.
Noor-ul-Haq, the Federal Minister for religious affairs had earlier said that the dismal situation with regards to currency devaluation does not allow further subsidy on Hajj.