NEW DELHI: While the number of Haj applications are falling every year the Government of India are sending more Hajis on state subsidy, Indian media reported.
When more people were applying for Haj, fewer applications were selected by the government. In 2009, over 3.5 lakh people had applied for Haj but only 1.20 lakh people were sent for Haj on government subsidy. In 2011, about 3 lakh people applied but 1.25 lakh applications were accepted.
The data for last three years shows the decline in Haj applications. Haj Committee of India received 357338, 300680 and 302616 applications during the years 2009, 2010, 2011 respectively. The government sent 120131, 126191 and 125051 pilgrims on subsidized airfare during the year 2009, 2010 and 2011.
According to the information given by the Minister of Civil Aviation Ajit Singh in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, during the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Government has spent an amount of approximately Rs. 690, Rs. 600 and Rs. 605 crores (excluding service tax) as subsidy on air travel of Haj pilgrims.
The information reveals an interesting point – when the government sent 1.20 lakh people for Haj on subsidized airfare in 2009 it spent Rs 690 crore but it spent Rs 605 crore when it sent 1.25 lakh people in 2011.