The government balloting process for applications received for the Hajj scheme has started and the names of some successful applicants has been announced.
Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Minister Dr Noorul Haq Qadri inaugurated the balloting on Tuesday. It is expected to continue till night.
He announced the name of the first successful applicant from Karachi – Waseem Ahmed. There are four applicants in Ahmed’s group. The second group of six people is from Peshawar and the third from Islamabad.
The results will be uploaded on the website of the religious affairs’ ministry and applicants will be informed via SMS too. The applicants can also view the results of balloting on the official site of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Applications under the government’s Hajj Scheme were received from February 25 to March 6. According to one estimate, at least 216, 542 people have submitted the applications for the government Hajj scheme.
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.
Over 180,000 Pakistanis will perform Hajj this year.
At least 107,526 people will perform Hajj under the government scheme, and 71,684 people will go to Saudi Arabia under the private Hajj scheme.
Pakistan has been allocated a quota based on its census and population figures. Saudi Arabia has not allocated a quota to any one except Pakistan based on the census, said Qadri.
The names of 90,000 winners has been announced so far, said Qadri. He shared that two people will assist elderly women going for the pilgrimage. Around 10,000 applicants who had been unsuccessful in the balloting process for the last three years would be sent for Hajj without balloting.
This year, the balloting process was computerised.