Sunday Feb 10 2019

Hajj to become more expensive in next few years, says religious affairs minister

Saudi Arabia wants all countries to transfer Hajj packages to private sector: Dr Noor ul Haq Qadri

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noor ul Haq Qadri has said the Hajj pilgrimage will become even more expensive for the people in the next few years.

Speaking in Geo News programme ‘Geo Parliament’, the minister said Saudi Arabia wants all countries to gradually transfer Hajj packages to the private sector over the next three to four years, which would make it more expensive.

Noor ul Haq Qadri said the countries would have to agree to Saudi Arabia’s demand to privatise Hajj.

His statement comes a few days after the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to abolish subsidy on Hajj, thus increasing the overall expenditure associated with performing the religious obligation.

He said a summary of Hajj subsidy was presented before the cabinet, but there could be no consensus among the cabinet members on the matter. “Prime Minister Imran said he could not agree on the subsidy in view of the economic woes,” the minister added.

He further said that Saudi Arabia has increased Hajj expenditures for pilgrims worldwide.