ISLAMABAD – Balloting for state-run Hajj Scheme slated for tomorrow has been postponed, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said Tuesday.
Media reports quoting sources claimed that the government is considering to send all Hajj applicants to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage without balloting.
It was learnt that amid back-breaking inflation and exceptional increase in Hajj prices, lesser applicants have applied for pilgrimage, astonishingly less than the quota allotted by Kingdom.
The quota of South Asian nation for this year’s Hajj was 179,000, and apparently only a few can spend over million rupees for the Islamic pilgrimage as the country is facing the worst economic crisis in recent times.
Data shared by officials suggest that around 89,000 applications have applied for regular and private Hajj.
|Hajj 2023||Quota||Applications received|
|Regular Hajj Scheme||43,000||30,000|
|Sponsorship Hajj Scheme||46,000||6,000|
|Private Hajj Scheme||89,605|
As Sharif-led government planned to extend maximum support and cooperation for facilitating Hajj pilgrims, the Ministry of Religious Affairs approached the Finance Ministry for an additional $235 million for smooth operations.