Ministry of Religious Affairs has offered Hajj quota of 50 Hujjaj each to 29 new companies for the year 2017. According to the ministry, the new companies were offered the Hajj quota according to the terms and conditions of Hajj policy 2017. The companies will be required to sign service provider agreement with the ministry.
The companies can respond to the offer of quota by July 4, 2017 along with all the required documents. In case of failure to do so, the ministry will cancel its offer. Under the government scheme 107, 526 pilgrims will perform Hajj while 71000 citizens will go for Hajj through arrangements made by private Hajj operators. Under the Hajj policy 2017, the government announced 60 percent quota for pilgrims under the government scheme and 40 percent quota for private Hajj operators.
Due to a court case filed by private Hajj operators over cut in their quota, the ministry held draw only against 50 percent of its quota. Applicants for the remaining 10 percent quota will be decided after the court decision.
This year, the ministry received 338,696 applications through ten designated banks in a ten-day period from April 17 to 26. He said the Prime Minister gave approval of names of 197 applicants, who were older than 90 years, without any draw.
The elderly pilgrims will also take along one attendant who will also be exempted from balloting. Sardar Yousaf told that the ministry received more applications than in the year 2016 in which 280,000 persons applied. While 270,000 persons applied in the year 2015.
“Since 2013, the government had been receiving more applications than the previous years, because of the improvements in the arrangements of Hajj under the government scheme.” He said it was matter of satisfaction for the government that people were happy with the arrangements made by it for Hajj. He said the money received from applicants through banks will be held in a Shariah account.—APP