Not many people in the country seem to be satisfied with the government’s decision to remove subsidies for Hajj this year, least of all senators.
During the Senate session chaired on Friday by chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed put forward a call attention notice and likened the lack of subsidy to a drone attack on prospective pilgrims.
However, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Muhammad Khan said that Saudi Arabia has increased the expenses. “What can the government do?” he asked.
The Saudi government has increased the costs of travel and living, he said.
The government approved the new Hajj policy for 2019 without any subsidy on January 31. Without a subsidy, the pilgrimage will cost people in the southern areas of the country Rs436,000 while people in the northern areas will pay Rs426,000.
The expense for Hajj has increased by Rs100,000 compared to last year.
The ministry of religious affairs had requested a subsidy of Rs45,000 but the government did not approve it.