Hajj 2023: In a major decision taken for the Muslims planning to travel to Makkah, India has decided to cut the cost of Hajj 2023 by at least Rs.100,000.
It was announced by Union Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani at the All India Haj Conference held in New Delhi on Saturday November 12, 2022.
The conference was attended by the office bearers of Central Haj Committee and heads and chairmen of State Haj Committees.
There was a large-scale allegation that the cost of Haj travel from India had been considerably increased last year.
Travel to Makkah by Haj Committee of India is considered economical as compared to Private Tour Operators (PTOs). The cost of Haj 2022 was in fact more than what the Private Tour Operators were charging, the pilgrims alleged.
The pilgrims also said despite paying a huge amount to Haj Committee of India, accommodation and other facilities were not at par, and many pilgrims had to suffer because of poor Haj management.
Smriti Iran while addressing the All India Haj Conference Saturday also asked the Haj Committee of India and respective State Haj Committees to address all these issues and make Haj travel to Makkah “cheaper, smooth and hassle free”.
Smriti Irani also advocated need to increase the Haj Embarkation Points so that pilgrims can embark to Saudi Arabia from the nearest airport.
“This should further reduce the cost of Haj travel”, she said.
Irani also expressed her displeasure over a hefty amount charged to pilgrims for handling of baggage and other things. Irani also disbanded the role of the "Baggage Committee" and allow the pilgrims to buy their stuff.
It was also decided at the conference to set up a women's committee to facilitate women traveling alone and without Mehram. The committee will provide hajj-related facilities to the women pilgrims and address their complaints related to the journey.
More than 2.5 million Muslims from all across the world perform Haj in normal days. This includes a quota of about 02 lakh pilgrims from India.
Hajj is performed every year in the month of Dhul Hijjah.
The final date will be decided after sighting of the new moon. However, as per the astronomical calculation, Day of Arafah or Youm ul Hajj or Hajj Day, observed on 9th of Dhul Hijjah, will most likely be on Tuesday June 27, 2023.
Meanwhile, aspiring pilgrims are waiting for Haj Committee of India to start registration and online application for Hajj 2023.
The Haj Committee of India had for Hajj 2022 started receiving Haj Application Form from November 01, 2021.
According to sources, Haj Committee of India will soon publish the Haj 2023 notification and detailed schedule for application.
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