The Senate Sub-Committee on the Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony in its meeting on Wednesday at Parliament House discussed thedetails of cost increase of the Hajj Package especially in context with increase in PIA fare.
The Committee showed dismay at the increase of air fare and was of the view that all possible measures must be taken to facilitate Hajjis during Hajj 2020. The Committee stressed the need for operating Hajj flights on market rates.
The Committee was informed that there are numerous reasons for exorbitant Hajj flight fares. Primarily that the KSA Government does not allow Hajj flights to pick normal passengers to bring back to Pakistan. Hence flights return empty. Also, that it is PIA’s responsibility to ensure that passengers are taken on board from their home station and if not PIA would arrange their commute to designated airports without extra charges.
The Committee showed dissatisfaction over the response and recommended that tickets must be made available at market rates. Hajjis must be exempted from taxes and the fare, in view the mentioned issues, may be decreased to PKR 100,000 instead of PKR 140000.
Chaired by Senator Hafiz Abdul Karim, the meeting was attended by Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar and senior officers from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony, PIA along with all concerned.