Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in its meeting examined complaints received during Hajj-2019 and their redressal mechanism. The current situation of Hajj Welfare fund and making Hajj Package 2020 at affordable rates was also discussed. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim here at the Parliament House on Wednesday and was attended among others by Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, Secretary religious affairs, additional secretary and officers from the ministry.
The Committee was told that during the Hajj in 2019, the complaints received were of lost Hujjajs (264), lost luggage (981), food complaints (174), accommodation issues in Makkah and Madinah (244), mashaa’ir issues (18). The meeting was told that all complaints were addressed in due time and no back log is present. It was told that the issues related to food and accommodation are continuously being taken up with the Saudi authorities and will be improved in the Hajj 2020. Some companies have been blacklisted and refunds have been made in cases where accommodation was given in relatively less costly places.
Saudi authorities allow sending 1 Muawin over every 100 pilgrims and all the Muawins sent from Pakistan are government servants from across the country. It was told that when increasing number of pilgrims are going it gets a huge task to manage them all but all complaints were addressed and managed. A monitoring team has also been constituted by the ministry who regularly checks the administration of private companies.
The Committee was told that in Makkah building charges were 2,415 Saudi Riyal as maximum limit and in Madina they were 1,050 Saudi Riyal as maximum limit. 101 people who were charged for maximum limit but were given accommodation in other places have been compensated and an amount of 5.53 billion has been returned to Pilgrims. On average 37,227 rupees were returned per pilgrim.
After different refunds, Hajj price for 2019 reduced from 436975 rupees to 399,748 per pilgrim. The Committee recommended making Hajj affordable for 2020.