ISLAMABAD: NPTV has learned that the new Hajj Policy would be announced in the 3rd week of the current month after getting approval from the federal cabinet.
Draft Hajj Policy, prepared in consultation with all stakeholders, has almost been finalized and likely to be presented before the federal cabinet by the second week of January. The applications for securing a berth in Government Hajj Scheme would be invited from the general public by last week of January 2019. This year over 184,210 Pakistanis would perform Hajj, the source said adding that keeping in view increase in dollar-rupee parity ratio, Hajj expenditures of government scheme are likely to increase from Rs40,000 to Rs50,000. According to Hajj agreement inked between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia last year, the immigration and other formalities of 35,000 intending Hujjaj from Sindh will be completed at Karachi airport. The ministry was contemplating to retain the quota for government and private Hajj operators by 60:40 respectively, the source said adding that the ministry has proposed open sky policy for airlines to transport Hujjaj to Saudi Arabia. The Hajj dues of the applicants would be kept in Sharia Complaint remunerative accounts. Pakistanis will be given E-visas. Immigration of intending pilgrims would be conducted in Sindh at Karachi airport. Food facilities for pilgrims would be improved further. Hujjaj, who performed Hajj during the last seven to ten years could be banned from submitting applications. Pilgrims of over 75 years of age could be exempted from participating in Hajj balloting.