The Ministry of Religious Affairs has suggested that the government may reduce the expenses for Hajj.
According to Dr. Attar Rehman, the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, there are efforts underway to provide a relief of Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 50,000 to the pilgrims.
He stated that negotiations are ongoing with the Saudi government to make the Hajj package more affordable.
The aim is to lower the Hajj package cost for the northern region from Rs. 11,75,000 to Rs. 11,30,000, while the southern region’s package could potentially decrease from Rs. 11,65,000 to Rs. 11,20,000.
Hajj 2023 Cost Breakdown
The cost of the annual Hajj pilgrimage has surged dramatically this year, leaving many Pakistani pilgrims struggling to afford the religious obligation.
The Religious Affairs Ministry has increased the Hajj package price by Rs. 350,000, causing the official Hajj cost to reach Rs. 11,75,000, which is a significant rise from last year’s cost of Rs. 826,000.
In addition to the higher package price, pilgrims must pay separately for animal sacrifices. The mandatory Hajj costs have increased from Rs. 300,000 last year to Rs. 356,000 this year. Furthermore, the visa cost has risen from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 22,275, while the airfare has surged from Rs. 70,000 to Rs. 250,000.
The prices for food and drink for pilgrims have also skyrocketed, with the cost for 38 days exceeding Rs. 100,000, a sharp increase from Rs. 53,440 last year. Accommodation rents in Makkah have climbed by approximately Rs. 82,000, while the rentals in Madinah have surged by around Rs. 41,000. Transportation costs have also increased from Rs. 61,000 to Rs. 112,000.
Apart from the abovementioned expenses, the Hajj package includes other fees such as Rs. 43,882 for rail travel and Rs. 1,100 for Zam Zam water charges, which previously cost Rs. 721. Furthermore, an additional Rs. 12,000 is being charged for vital supplies such as medications and vaccinations.
This significant increase in Hajj expenses has raised concerns among Pakistani pilgrims, as many find it difficult to afford the pilgrimage due to financial constraints.