Pakistan’s legislators are planning to find ways to reduce hajj expenses amid the rising cost
Due to the higher costs, the number of people expected to perform Hajj will reduce. Almost 200,000 Pakistanis performed Hajj last year
The Ministry of Religious Affairs briefed a Senate panel that the cost of performing Hajj may increase this year by over one hundred thousand rupees, which was not well received by the Pakistani people
However, Pakistan’s legislators are planning to find ways to reduce the cost of hajj next month. The increase in hajj expenses came after the rise in the US dollar’s exchange rate and airfares.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs told the senate committee that 179,000 Pakistanis were scheduled to perform Hajj this year. Those on Government packages could be paying an extra Rs. 115,000 ($743) per person as compared to last year, which means a 20 percent increment.
Muhammad Iqbal Khan, a member of the standing committee, told Arab News that an important meeting would be held by the standing committee of the National Assembly on Religious Affairs on February the 3rd, 2020. The Committee will consider all scenarios and possible solutions to lower the expenses.
Rupee depreciation against the US dollar and taxes implemented by the Saudi Government are the main reasons as to why costs rose for Pakistani pilgrims this year.
The committee chairman, Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, expressed his worry over the increased expenses and said that the Government is increasing the cost of the Hajj package every year, and it is becoming difficult for the poor to perform Hajj.
200,000 Pakistanis performed Hajj last year:
Due to the higher costs, the number of people expected to perform Hajj will reduce. Almost 200,000 Pakistanis performed Hajj last year. The secretary told the panel that the ministry had charged Rs 433,000 from every pilgrim who performed Hajj through the government program but later returned Rs 5 billion to the pilgrims.
The committee asked about the absence of Noorul Haq Qadri, Minister for religious affairs, and asked for him to appear in the committee’s next meeting.
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