ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor said on Monday Pakistani pilgrims performing Hajj under the government scheme would start receiving a subsidy of Rs150,000 from August 17 as the country said it had completed of its Hajj operation this year.
The government announced a subsidy of Rs4.88 billion which would be disbursed among pilgrims who returned from the kingdom after performing the pilgrimage.
The total Hajj expenditure under the government scheme exceeded Rs860,000, though people will now be getting some financial relaxation after the announcement of the subsidy.
“Our Hajj operation has completed successfully and without any untoward incident,” the minister told Arab News on the sidelines of a post-Hajj news conference in the federal capital. “All people who performed their pilgrimage under the government scheme will start getting Rs150,000 back from August 17 and this disbursement process will complete by August 31.”
He said the pilgrims would be informed about the disbursement through text messages.
“They will get the amount by showing that message along with their national identity card and passport to the bank,” the minister continued. “The bank will transfer the amount into the pilgrim’s account after that.”
Saudi Arabia allowed about a million people to perform Hajj this year after lifting strict coronavirus restrictions which were imposed after the emergence of the pandemic.
Pakistan’s religious affairs minister said the kingdom supported his country’s Hajj mission in every possible way, adding it even increased the South Asian nation’s quota by adding 2,000 more people.
“Due to the hard work of our team and cooperation of Saudis, we succeeded in reducing the expenses by nearly 1,500 Riyal per pilgrim than we had initially anticipated,” he said.
The minister also informed that over 15,000 Pakistani pilgrims under the government scheme had also benefitted from the Makkah Route Initiative.
“The pilgrims were provided residences near the Grand Mosque [in Makkah] and four- and five-star hotels in Madinah,” he said. “Apart from that, they were given the best transportation and food services as well.”
The minister informed it was the first time pilgrims under the government scheme got their boarding passes 24 hours before their return to the country.
He added their luggage was also booked much ahead of their return flight, which saved them time at the airport.