New Delhi: The process for next year’s Haj will be announced in the next few days as preparations for the 2019 pilgrimage have already started, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Wednesday
Naqvi has said that it is for the first time after Independence that preparation for next year’s Haj has been started immediately after completion of the current year’s Haj process in India.
Naqvi has reviewed the Haj 2019 preparation meeting here today. Senior officials from the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministries of External Affairs, Civil Aviation and Health along with the representatives of Haj Committee of India, Indian Embassy and Consulate in Saudi Arabia have attended the meeting.
In 2017, a total of Rs 1030 crore was paid to airlines for air fare for 1,24,852 Haj pilgrims. Whereas, in 2018, a total of Rs 973 crore were paid to airlines for 1,28,702 Haj pilgrims, going through Haj Committee of India. It means, Rs 57 crore less was paid to airlines this year even after ending the Haj subsidy.
Naqvi said that Haj 2018 was successful. For the first time after the Independence, a record number of 1,75,025 Muslims from India performed Haj this year and that too without any subsidy.
The Minister said that last year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia Haj Consulate, Haj Committee of India and other concerned agencies, had completed preparations for Haj 2018 about 2 months before schedule to ensure smooth Haj pilgrimage. This time, preparations for Haj 2019 are started 3 months before schedule.
He said that safety and better facilities, medical facilities for the pilgrims is the priority of the Government and there will be no lackadaisical approach on the matter.