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HomeBusinessEconomyPakistan falls short of its Hajj quota

Pakistan falls short of its Hajj quota

As a result of a decline in Hajj applications in Pakistan brought on by rising inflation, the government has decided to return Pakistan’s allotted number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, according to sources in the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) on Wednesday.

The country offered a Hajj quota for the first time this year, but Pakistanis were unable to apply because of a lack of cash and soaring prices.

The federal cabinet will make the ultimate decision about the return of the Hajj quota. After a limited number of applications were received for the government programme, the authorities thought of distributing the official Hajj quota to private operators. However, choosing this alternative would result in private individuals obtaining dollars on the open market and generating unneeded demand for foreign money.

Pakistan had demanded that the Hajj quota be increased from 179,210 to 202,000 or 201,000 pilgrims. After several years, the nation finally obtained its full allotment of 179,000 pilgrims this year, but it was unable to use it all. The price of a government-sponsored Hajj is approximately Rs1.2 million, it should be noted.


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The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony decided to reserve a special 50% quota in the Government Hajj Scheme-2023 for pilgrims who will pay in US dollars due to a severe shortage of dollars amid the crumbling economy. The government programme set a quota of 89,605 Hajj pilgrims, which was insufficient to accommodate the 9,000 applicants.

Via the regular system, the government received 72,869 applicants; however, only 8,000 people applied via the sponsorship scheme. In addition, 28,679 more applications than the official regular scheme’s 44,190 allotment were received. Without a lottery, more applicants are being sent on the Hajj pilgrimage.

According to the sources, the government initiative will cost $235 million in total, $21 million of which will come from the sponsorship programme and the remainder from the government.

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