Hajj Applications for 2023 will be Accepted by the Banks from 16 to 31 March

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Religious Affairs, Mufti Abdul Shakoor announced that the estimated cost of Hajj is Rs1,175,000

Pakistani Minister Announces Hajj policy 2023, reveals cost breakdown and sponsorship scheme for overseas Pakistanis.

An announcement of the Hajj Policy 2023 was made on Friday by the Minister for Religious Affairs, Mufti Abdul Shakoor. According to him, 179,210 Pakistani pilgrims will perform Hajj this year and applications can be submitted from March 16 to March 31 at 14 designated banks.

According to the Minister, the high cost of Hajj is due to inflation, especially in Saudi Arabia, and the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee.

He explained that the estimated cost of Hajj from the northern region (including Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, and Sialkot) is Rs1,175,000, while for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme (northern region), it is approximately $4,325.

Similar to this, the estimated cost of performing the Hajj from the southern region (Karachi, Quetta, and Sukkur) is Rs. 1,165,000, while the cost of the southern region’s Sponsorship Hajj Scheme is about $4,285.

The Minister assured those who applied that any savings from the Hajj package would be transferred to their specified bank accounts. He added that cash would be given to applicants for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme who do not have bank accounts.

He went on to say that the Hajj package was significantly impacted by the decline in the Pakistani rupee’s value. However, he said that this year, Pakistani pilgrims would have access to train facilities in Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat, albeit at an additional cost.

This year, the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme for Pakistanis living abroad was launched in an effort to raise $194 million towards the ministry’s $284 million budgetary need. The remaining $90 million will be provided by the Ministry of Finance to ensure the Hajj operation runs smoothly.

This year’s Hajj quota is 179,210 pilgrims, which will be split equally between public and private Hajj programmes. Each public and private hajj scheme will have 44,802 seats, with 50% of those seats going to the sponsorship hajj scheme.

The Minister explained that if overseas Pakistanis sent the designated funds to the designated Ministry account for themselves or their relatives in Pakistan, they would be exempt from the voting process under the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme. He continued by saying that it was forbidden for Pakistan to deposit dollars.

According to the time and date the Hajj form was deposited in the bank, the quota for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme would be distributed on a “first come, first served” basis. The registration period for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme would close once the allotted quota had been reached.

The Minister concluded by stating that Saudi Arabia had lifted the 65-year age restriction for Pakistani pilgrims this year.

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