The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has informed that those who are intending to perform Hajj for the 3rd time will have to pay an additional fee of Saudi Riyal (SR) 2,000 or PKR 56,200.
The step was taken by the Ministry to allow more pilgrims to perform Hajj for the first time.
Those who have performed Hajj in either 2014, 2015 or 2016 and still wish to perform in this or the following year, will have to pay the additional fees.
Saudi Govt Imposed the Same Rule for Umrah
A similar type of fee was also imposed by the Saudi government last year for pilgrims that performed Umrah multiple times in as many years. The decision was taken by the Saudi government to avoid unnecessary rush and also to let more people experience the pilgrimage.
Since the policy is applicable from this year, those who have already performed Hajj within the past 3 years and are again in Saudi Arabia this year will have to pay the newly applicable fees.
This means that around 636 Pakistani pilgrims that are performing Hajj this year will have to pay the fees. The required fees can be either paid in Saudi Arabia when they collect their passports, or to the Ministry here once they return to Pakistan in October.
It should be mentioned that this is applicable for those who are performing Hajj under government schemes. Those who are performing Hajj through a private tour operator will have to pay the additional fees to their tour operator.
While some may be against this new policy, it is necessary to take such steps in order to ensure that everyone is given a fair chance to perform Hajj.