ISLAMABAD: The process for submission of Hajj application forms in the designated bank branches is 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.
Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, addressing a news conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan in Islamabad, had said around 107,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj under government while remaining (72,200) under the private scheme.
He had said transparency and merit will be ensured while selecting private tour operators as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
Noor-ul-Haq Qadri had said the hajj package through government scheme is 4,90,000 rupees for intending pilgrims of north region and 4,80,000 rupees for those from southern region of the country.
He had said the increase in hajj package is due to surge in airline fares and depreciation of Pakistani rupee among other reasons. He had said the Saudi Arabian government had levied an additional fee of 300 riyals for hajj visa and 110 riyals for mandatory health insurance. Similarly, the cost of residence had also gone up in Makkah.
If we multiply the minimum cost of the government scheme (Rs480,000) with the total number of pilgrims (107,000) being sent under this scheme, the total cost will be 51.36 billion rupees.