For the third consecutive year, the Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony is using Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB)’s automatic Hajj operations.
PITB’s stats show that under the Hajj Policy 2017, more than 214,000 applications have been submitted from April 17 till April 21 in 9061 branches of 10 banks all over the country. The number is expected to grow even higher as the deadline approaches.
There will be around 179,210 pilgrims from Pakistan performing Hajj this year, with sixty percent going with the Government Scheme and the remaining forty percent from the Private Hajj Group Organizers (HGOs). There will be a total of 107,526 from the Government scheme and 71,684 from the HGOs schemes.
Applications have been open since April 17 and banks have already received more than 200,000. The deadline will be closed on April 26, 2017 and the draw is going to be held on April 28. About 9061 branches from ABL, UBL, BOP, MCB, NBP, Habib Metro, Bank Alfalah, Meezan bank and Zarai Tarqiyati Bank are receiving Hajj applications throughout the country.
If we divide number of applications coming from different areas across the country, the breakup shows the number of applications is 102,530 for Punjab, 52524 for KPK, 3192 for GB, 4490 for FATA, 1161 for AJK, 5973 for Islamabad, 10,683 for Balochistan, and 33, 268 for Sindh.
PITB is also proving technical help to the Government of Nigeria for expanding their own Hajj operations and training their staff. A team of PITB officials recently visited Nigeria for this very purpose.