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इंडियन आवाज़     09 Dec 2021 04:30:10      انڈین آواز

1,70,000 Indians to perform Haj in 2010

TIA correspondent

  NEW DELHI:  About 1,70,000 Indian are likely to perform Haj this year. Out of these 1,25,000 pilgrims will go through Haj Committee of India while remaining through private tour operators.
The government on Thursday approved various issues concerning the Haj 2010 operations. According to a high level senior official, air travel arrangements for 1,25,000 pilgrims will be made by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. These pilgrims will be carried from 21 embarkation points through chartered flights. Bhopal and Goa have been added as new embarkation points this year.

The pilgrim going on Haj through Haj Committee of India will have to pay Rs.16,000/-( plus airport charges) as air fare and the balance air fare (cost of operations) will be borne by the government.

Most of the pilgrims will travel by Saudi Arabian Airlines, National Private Air Services Company Limited (NAS) and Al-Wafeer Air this year. They have been selected through a sealed tender process. Air India will coordinate the operations and provide support on cost basis, wherever required.

Meanwhile Minority affair ministry headed by Salman Khurshid has suggested the government to phase out Haj subsidy.  “There is no concept of subsidised Haj in Islam. Therefore, the subsidy should be phased out from Haj travel,” the ministry reportedly told the government.

However, Civil Aviation wants the scheme to continue as the Ministry of External Affairs is in the process of framing Haj Management Reforms and had sought necessary budget for 2010 and 2011 as a decision on the reforms was likely to take some time.

Prominent Muslim leaders have also opposed the subsidy as it violates the Sharia. The move is also seen as appeasement of muslims by the Hindu fundamentalists.

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