The government’s Hajj Scheme is experiencing a notable decline in the number of applications from intending pilgrims despite a cut of Rs. 1 lac in Hajj expenses by the government, a move that was touted as unprecedented by the caretaker government.
According to reports, in a span of six days, only 6,000 applications have been received by the country’s 15 designated banks.
Hajj applications will continue to be accepted by the nominated banks until the deadline on December 12. A total of 89,605 Pakistani citizens are expected to undertake Hajj through the government Hajj scheme.
To manage the limited slots, a balloting process will be implemented if the number of applications exceeds the fixed quota of pilgrims.
Prospective pilgrims can submit their applications using Pakistani passports, valid until December 16, 2024. Alternatively, applications can also be processed using the passport application token.
For the sponsorship scheme, the government has set a quota of 25,000 pilgrims on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. A balloting procedure will be employed to select applicants for the regular Hajj scheme sponsored by the government.