ISLAMABAD: As many as 179,000 intending Pakistani pilgrims will perform Hajj this year, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said on Thursday.
The minister performed the computerised balloting at his office in Islamabad to select the individual who would perform the religious obligation this year.
He said 149,295 Hajj applications were received this year out of which 105,413 have been selected under government scheme through computerized open balloting. The minister said 7,648 applicants, who remained unsuccessful for last three consecutive years, will be selected without balloting.
The successful applicants will be informed about the balloting results via SMS. They can also check the ballot results on the ministry’s website by entering either their CNIC number or the Haj application number.
Felicitating the successful candidates, Religious minister Noorul Haq Qadri directed the intending pilgrims to submit their medical certificates by March 19 in the concerned banks.
Earlier on February 25, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had announced the policy for Hajj pilgrims under the government scheme who were traveling with infants born after September 5, 2018.
The travel charges had been doubled for infants during the last three years. The ministry had announced that the parents will be charged ten percent of overall travel fares for infants.
The Hajj charges for infants born after Sept 5, 2018, under the government scheme will be Rs31,882 and Rs32,657 each infant for north and south regions respectively.
The government Hajj package per person is Rs 463,445 for the north region and Rs 486,270 for the south region without Qurbani (sacrifice), and Rs 486,270 and Rs 478,520 for north and south regions respectively with Qurbani.
As many as 500 seats have been reserved for accommodating low-paid employees of public sector organisations, and companies registered with Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) Workers Welfare Fund.
Around 1.5 percent (1,613) of government Hajj scheme has been reserved to accommodate hardship cases, which include broken family, newly born infant and attendants/helpers.
Likewise, 10,000 seats have been reserved for senior citizens of over 70 years age including their Mehram and helper, while a quota of 1,000 was reserved for overseas Pakistanis.