Hyderabad: In what could come as major relief to those looking forward to go on a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, from next season, the Haj Committees of all States have urged the Central Haj Committee to reduce the expenditure by at least Rs.1 lakh, with the latter responding positively to the request. Similarly, the Telangana […]
Hyderabad: In what could come as major relief to those looking forward to go on a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, from next season, the Haj Committees of all States have urged the Central Haj Committee to reduce the expenditure by at least Rs.1 lakh, with the latter responding positively to the request. Similarly, the Telangana State Haj committee requested the Central Haj Committee to increase its annual haj quota to 7,000 and that of Andhra Pradesh to 3,000.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Telangana State Haj committee chairman Mohammad Saleem stated that during a meeting of the Central Haj Committee in New Delhi on November 12, all representatives of State Haj Committees requested the Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani to reduce the expenditure of the Haj pilgrimage from Rs 4 lakh to between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh, with Irani agreeing to consider the request.
“Earlier, each Haji could perform Haj by spending Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.25 lakh, but since the last few years it has gone up to Rs 4 lakh. The increase in the expenditure is burdening the poor and middle class. Hence, we requested the Centre to reduce it by at least Rs 1 lakh,” Saleem said.
Stating that private operators would also be asked to reduce charges for the pilgrimage from next year, Saleem said Haj committees would monitor the charges collected by private operators. “If they do not follow the guidelines of the government, stringent action would be initiated against them,” he said.
The Central Haj Committee was planning to increase the annual haj quota to 2 lakh from the current year’s quota of 75,000, hence, the State haj committee has requested the Centre to increase Telangana’s quota to 7,000 from the current quota of 2171 and Andhra Pradesh quota from 900 to 3,000.
The Centre has also agreed to remove the age restriction for hajis brought in force during the Covid period. ” During Covid only people below 60-years were allowed to perform haj. Now government has decided to allow people of all ages to perform haj from next year,” he said.
Saleem informed that applications for performing haj for the next season would begin from the first week of December. He further stated that the Central Haj Committee would be releasing the new guidelines for haj pilgrimage in December . He stated that the Central Haj Committee would be launching an App through which the haj pilgrimage process would be initiated.
The Telangana State Haj committee had bagged the best ’embarkation point award’ for the year 2022-23, he said, thanking Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for extending all support to the Haj Committee.