It’s one of the biggest developments of the day. PM Narendra Modi led Central government has confirmed that there will be no subsidy for Haj from this year. Minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said confirmed that there will be no subsidy for Haj from this year.
Moreover, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India.
Also, Naqvi explained that why this decision has come from Modi government. According to Naqvi, this is part of Modi government’s policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement. Moreover, Naqvi cited a host of measures for the welfare of minorities.
Naqvi also said that the Saudi Arabian government has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities.
Earlier this year, Naqvi had said that the Centre would abolish the subsidy for Haj pilgrims in accordance with a Supreme Court order.
“A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had, during the Congress regime in 2012, directed that the Haj subsidy be done away with. Hence, in the new policy, as per the recommendations of a committee, we have decided to do away with the Haj subsidy gradually,” Naqvi had said.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs had, earlier this year, constituted the committee to review the existing Haj policy and suggest a framework for a new Haj policy for 2018-22. The committee presented its draft to Naqvi in October 2017.
The minister had told that among other recommendations, the committee suggested that women above 45 years be allowed to perform Haj without a ‘Mehram’ (a male relative by blood) in a group of four or more. Also, it recommended that coupons for ‘Adahi’ (sacrifice of animals) be made compulsory for all the pilgrims and the quota of Mehram be increased from the present 200 to 500. It also sought that the special quota for Jammu and Kashmir be increased from 1,500 to 2,000.