New Delhi: A month after announcing that the "Haj subsidy" will no longer be available for Haj pilgrims in 2018, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday claimed that the Modi government has taken a decision to "drastically" reduce the Haj airfares this year.
“The Prime Minister’s Office took a keen interest in this. The decision is in line with our 'empowerment without appeasement policy',” Naqvi said adding that the reduction will be applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas, an air carrier based in Saudi Arabia, to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India, according to PTI.
Naqvi also said that the decision to cut airfares will end the “political and economic exploitation” of Hajis “as was done during the Congress-led UPA regime”. To drive home the point, Naqvi compared Haj airfares fixed during the former UPA regime and the ones for this year.
After the reduction the airfare for Haj from Mumbai will be Rs 57,857 instead of Rs 98,750 in 2013-2014 under the Congress-led UPA government. Fare from Ahmedabad reduced to Rs 65,015 this year from Rs 98,750 in 2013-14, UNI quoted Naqvi as saying.
According to Mukhtar Abbasi Naqvi, airfare for Haj pilgrims for Aurangabad embarkatin point has been slashed from Rs 118,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 84,946 in 2018, for Bengaluru for Rs 104,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 82,419 in 2018), for Bhopal Rs 127,750 in 2013-14 to Rs 91,090 in 2018, for Kozhikode Rs 104,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 74,431 in 2018) and for Chennai Rs 105,000 in 2013-14 to Rs 77,181 in 2018.
From Delhi it was Rs 98,750 in 2013-14, the government has reduced it to Rs 71,853 in 2018, he said. Gaya (Rs 146,500 in 2013-14 to Rs 98,852 in 2018); Goa (Rs 127,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 82,730 in 2018); Guwahati (Rs 134,100 in 2013-14 to Rs 112,837 in 2018); Hyderabad (Rs 101,600 in 2013-14 to Rs 65,766 in 2018); Jaipur (Rs 110,900 in 2013-14 to Rs 79,038 in 2018), Naqvi said.
Likewise from Kolkata (Rs 112,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 89,589 in 2018); Lucknow (Rs 106,750 in 2013-14 to Rs 78,933 in 2018); Mangalore (Rs 145,250 in 2013-14 to Rs 84,280 in 2018); Nagpur (Rs 116,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 70,680 in 2018); Ranchi (Rs 137,650 in 2013-14 to Rs 103,353 in 2018); Srinagar (Rs 198,350 in 2013-14 to Rs 101,400 in 2018) and Varanasi (Rs 112,300 in 2013-14 to Rs 92,004 in 2018), Naqvi said.
Every year more than 2.5 Muslims from all across the world gather in Makkah, Saudi Arabia to perform Haj - the annual ritual which is one of the pillars of Islam. The Saudi authorities have fixed quota for different countries based on the population of Muslims. Accordingly India has been allotted a quota of 175,025 pilgrims which is further distributed to various states based on the population of Muslims. However, pilgrims numbering more than three times the allotted quota submit their application. This necessitates Qurrah - draw of lots, to select the final list of Haj pilgrims.
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