Senate body recommends lowering down Hajj 2020 expenses by Rs50,000

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Staff Reporter

A sub-committee of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Religious Affairs on Wednesday recommended the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to bring down fares charged from the Hajj pilgrims for the year 2020.
Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim, who chaired the meeting, said that their aim was to lower down the amount charged for the Hajj 2020 to an extreme extent in order to facilitate the pilgrims.
He asked the PIA officials as to why Hajj ticket is sold out at Rs 140,000 when Rs 60,000 is charged for the Umrah ticket.
To this, the general manager PIA said that they are currently charging Rs 73,000 for Umrah ticket and since the plane carrying Hajj pilgrims had to return empty as per the Saudi authorities guideline, therefore its cost multiplies.
“Our planes had to flew from 10 different locations across the country during the Hajj flight operations,” he said and added that the government has no role in determining the airlines’ fares during Hajj operation.
An additional secretary said during the meeting that acting on the recommendation of the federal cabinet, the PIA lowered the airline’s ticket fares for Hajj by US$50.
The convener of the Senate’s sub-committee said that the Hajj tickets are available under Open Sky policy at around Rs 100,000 and recommenced the PIA authorities to bring down the fares by Rs 13,000.
The Senate body also suggested to remove Rs 3500 service charges. “If our recommendations are followed then the Hajj expenses could be lowered down upto Rs 50,000,” the convener said.