Subsidy to haj pilgrims withdrawn

The subsidy offered to the pilgrims going for Haj will no longer be given.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the subsidy to thousands of people has been withdrawn to help empower Muslims with dignity.

The minister also said that the number of travelers has not been affected by the lack of subsidy and a record 1.75 lakh Muslims will go on the pilgrimage this year.

Saudi Arabia has also increased India's quota for Haj pilgrims by 5,000 from this year. Saudi Arabia has also given the permission for people to go on the Haj by ship, which is cheaper than air travel.

In 2012, the Supreme Court had ordered that the subsidy should be withdrawn gradually by 2022.

Since the court ruling, the government has reduced is expenses on Haj subsidy each year.

The government spent Rs. 420 crore in 2016 and Rs. 225 crore last year on providing cheaper air tickets.

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