Government Likely to Make Hajj 2024 More Economical

The caretaker federal government of Pakistan is planning to reduce the cost of the Hajj pilgrimage this year, according to Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Aneeq Ahmed. The announcement was made during a dinner reception hosted by the Pakistan Business Group Organization (PBGO) Punjab Chapter.

Ahmed revealed that the cost of the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage would be less than Rs1,075,000, a significant reduction from the previous cost of Rs1,175,000. This move is part of the government’s efforts to make the Hajj more accessible and affordable in the face of rising inflation.

The minister also announced plans to introduce a short-term Hajj programme, which will last approximately 20 days. This initiative is designed to accommodate pilgrims who are unable to stay for more than 40 days due to personal and professional commitments.

In addition to the cost reduction, the government is also taking steps to improve the convenience and comfort of the pilgrims during their stay in the Kingdom. These include the provision of an affordable internet data package with a private network SIM available throughout their 45-day stay.

Furthermore, Ahmed announced that pilgrims paying their Hajj dues in dollars would be exempt from the balloting process. This exemption is aimed at streamlining the Hajj process effectively.

To ensure the security of the pilgrims and their belongings, each pilgrim will receive a suitcase equipped with a QR code. This will allow for the secure tracking of both their luggage and themselves throughout the entire Hajj operation.

The minister also outlined the ministry’s initiative to maintain discipline among female pilgrims by providing a scarf (hijab) adorned with the national flag on their back.

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