Free Press Journal

Fresh Haj policy for next five years


New Delhi : A committee set up by the government to frame a new Haj policy to be effective from 2018 to 2022 is holding a public hearing on May 25 at the India Islamic Centre here to review the present policy and look for improvements in the arrangements for Haj pilgrimage.

It has also issued a public notice inviting suggestions up to May 24 through e-mail at on the problems experienced in the existing policies and improvements that should be incorporated in the new Haj policy.

The committee, headed by retired IAS officer and former CGI Jeddah Afzal Amanullah, comprises High Court judge Justice (retd) S S Parkar, former Haj Committee chairman Qaiser Shamim, Muslim scholar and noted chartered accountant Kamal Faruqui and Joint Haj Secretary J Alam in the Minority Affairs Ministry.

The government of Saudi Arabia fixed India’s quota for the Haj pilgrims every year and this quota is executed through two channels, majority of people through the Haj Committee of India and others through the registered private tour operators. The quota fixed for 2017 is 1,70,025, out of which 1,25,025 are handled by the Haj Committee and the rest by the tour operators.

The terms of reference fixed for the committee include review of the existing Haj policy, issues of pilgrims” accommodation and air travel and issues related to subsidy, how to protect the pilgrims” interests, how to ensure competition among the tour operators and better services by them and suggest the framework for new Haj policy.