ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government withdrew Hajj subsidy under compulsion, which resulted in an increase in Hajj expenses, reported ARY News.
“I know that people save money throughout the year to perform Hajj. The government had to hike Hajj expenses under compulsion,” sources quoted the premier as saying while speaking to lawmakers from Rawalpindi division, who called on him at the PM House in Islamabad.
Defending the withdrawal of Hajj subsidy, he said the Hajj cost rose by 35 per cent in Saudi Arabia too. “The government has to pay Rs6 billion on loans everyday,” he said.
The prime minister assured the lawmakers of providing funds for development projects in their constituencies but cautioned that the funds won’t be given to MNAs and MPAs in future after the local governments would be made functional.
The government announced today to accept Hajj applications from February 25 to March 6 through 14 designated banks across the country.
According to the Hajj policy released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, nearly,84,210 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Hajj this year.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government withdrew subsidy on the pilgrimage, increasing the expenses by Rs 176,000 for each pilgrim whereas the overall pilgrimage amounted to Rs 456,000.