Pakistan reserves a 25% quota for Hajj pilgrims who pay their fees in USD in 2023
ISLAMABAD: Friday, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony made the decision to give pilgrims who will pay their fees in US dollars a special 25% quota in the government’s Hajj program.
According to official sources who spoke with APP on Friday, the ministry also decided that the intending pilgrims who paid their dues in dollars would not have to vote under the new Hajj policy.
They stated that the ministry’s “Sponsorship Scheme” would benefit approximately 22,400 pilgrims in light of the country’s current foreign exchange reserves.
According to the sources, foreign remittances in dollars could also be used to pay for the Hajj.
They claimed that the forex liquidity issue would prevent the Ministry of Finance from arranging $2 billion for the Hajj.
According to the sources, the religious ministry has increased the Hajj quota for private operators from 40% to 50%. This number could be increased further in the event of a persistent liquidity crunch in the foreign exchange market.
They stated that under the government scheme, the ministry would charge each pilgrim Rs1.1 million, but the Hajj expenses might rise to Rs1.3 million in the event of further rupee depreciation.
The sources went on to say that the Saudi Arabian government was raising the Hajj tax rate by 18% to 20%.