The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has made a new decision that will benefit pilgrims who will pay their dues for the ‘Government Hajj Scheme’ in dollars.
These pilgrims will receive a special 25% quota and will be exempt from the balloting process. Around 22,400 pilgrims will benefit from this new ‘Sponsorship Scheme.’
The decision was taken due to the country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves. The Ministry also stated that Hajj expenses can also be paid in dollars via foreign remittances.
The Hajj quota for private operators has been increased from 40% to 50%. The quota is expected to be increased further because of the current foreign exchange liquidity crisis.
Each pilgrim will be charged around Rs. 1.1 million for Hajj under the government scheme. These charges may also be impacted by the Saudi Government’s increasing tax rate for Hajj. According to reports, the tax rate may rise by 18-20%.