The Senate Standing Committee Religious Affairs and interfaith harmony has called for strict monitoring of the private Hajj tour operators and stressed the need for reduction of airfares for Hajj 2019 with a view to secure interests of the pilgrims and enable common man to perform Hajj and Umrah. The Senate Standing Committee Religious Affairs held here at Parliament House under chairmanship senator Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. The meeting was attended by senators Brig(R) John Kenneth Williams, Muhammad Yousaf Badni, Abida Muhammad Azeem along with senior officers from ministry.
The committee was comprehensively briefed on the Hajj policy 2019 and Hajj expenses with particular reference to the recent increase along with the reasons.
The ministry presented a brief report to committee by explaining all aspects of Hajj policy. Committee was informed that the Hajj expanses were increased due to exchange rates and Airfare rates. The Hajj 2019 dues under Government scheme 2019 are Rs. 436,975 and 426,975 for north and south respectively. Qurbani charges be 19,451. Similarly Airfares have also been increased from 93,000 to 110,000 for north and from 84,000 to 100,000 for south, due to dollar increase rates .Committee recommended that the airfare should be reviewed so that common people can perform Hajj on cheap rates.
Committee expressed strong concern over the increasing rates of private tour operators and directed the ministry to control and monitor as they are registered with ministry. It was also directed there profit should remain in the limit of 10%.
On the briefing of Umrah policy, the committee was informed that the ministry doses not regulate Umrah and at present the interested pilgrims directly approach different tour operators for Umrah. Ministry informed the committee about the steps being taken to regulate umrah service.
Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has drafted Hajj and Umrah secure management bill 2019 to protect the interest of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.