Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Friday (Feb 1) responded to oppositions call to attention notice regarding increase in Hajj expenses and said that government is trying to give maximum relief to pilgrims adding that 70% of the expenditure is incurred in Saudi Arabia and the government has no control over it.
Earlier in Parliament, Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) lamented on government’s decision and fires tirade against government by saying government should remember its claims to transform the country into a Madina-like state, adding that the recent increase in Haj expenditure has pushed the religious obligation out of the people’s reach. “The government had claimed that a ‘State of Medina’ will be made but its first Hajj policy is disappointing. The highest number of pilgrims who go for Hajj and Umrah are from Pakistan,” the JI senator said. “Hajj has become a part of the tsunami of inflation,” he added.
Responding to the call to attention notice, Khan said “Finance Minister Asad Umar wanted to give relief to people on Hajj expenses. The government is still trying to make efforts to provide maximum relief to intending pilgrims in meeting Hajj expenses.” “The recent increase in Hajj expenses is a result of an up to 50% increased expenditure in Saudi Arabia and this is beyond the control of Pakistani government,” he continued.
“Seventy percent of Hajj expenditures are incurred in Saudi Arabia and the government of Pakistan cannot control them,” Ali Mohammad added. “The rent of buildings was increased from Rs60,900 to Rs94,185 while the cost of transportation increased from Rs9,000 to Rs13,104 and food charges rose from Rs23,000 to Rs38000. The accommodation in Medina increased from Rs23,200 to Rs40,000, train charges from Rs7,250 to Rs 20,000 and the cost of sacrificing animals went up from Rs13,050 to Rs19,451 rupees while the cost of air travel has gone up by Rs17,000.”
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25 May, 2019