ISLAMABAD: The designated branches of scheduled banks would start receiving Government Scheme Hajj applications from January 15, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf said Wednesday.
Announcing Hajj Policy 2018, he told media that the Hajj applications would be received till January 24 and balloting to choose 120,000 successful pilgrims would be held on January 26. As many as 59,210 would perform the Hajj through Private Hajj Scheme.
He said Rs 280,000 would be paid by the intending pilgrims of North region while Rs 270,000 would be received from the intending pilgrims going to perform Hajj from South Region. Hajj dues have not been increased this year to enable the intending pilgrims to perform the sacred religious duty with immunity.
Intending pilgrims would have to deposit Rs 13,050 additional for sacrifice. The government Hajj scheme quota ratio has been enhanced further to on public demand.
A total of 179,210 Pakistanis would perform sacred religious obligation this year, 67 percent will perform Hajj from government scheme and 33 percent under private scheme. Stakeholders would be consulted to reduce Hajj itinerary from 38 days to 30 days.
A quota of 10,000 has been allocated for the applicants of over 80 years of age for hajj 2018. If the number of applicants exceeds 10,000 mark the successful would be selected through balloting, he said adding that the applicants who remained unsuccessful in last consecutive three years would be selected through normal balloting.
A total of 10,000 of such persons would be selected through a separate balloting.
Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be enrolled afresh. The successful pilgrims could also see the status of their application on ministry’s website, www.mora.gov.pk and www.hajjinfo.org.
He said a person having performed Hajj through Government Scheme has been declared not eligible for applying for Hajj only exception is mehram accompanying a women for Hajj.
Accompanying a Mehram has been made mandatory for each Haji women. However ovr 45 years women of Fiqia e Jafria would be exempted from the condition.
International Machine Readable Passport having validity of upto February 20, 2019, Computerised National Identity Card and Medical certificate would be mandatory.
A two percent quota (2400) has been reserved for hardship cases. Out of which 500 seats would be allocated to low income, labours whose institution has been registered with workers welfare board.
He said Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) would be allotted quota through transparent mechanism. HGOs would have to deposit five percent of their package amount to ministry as security deposit which is returnable after Hajj.—APP