Haj Quota , Biggest expansion in Last 29 Years For India
There is good news for all the Muslims , who are interested to go for Haj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Haj quota . It is the biggest expansion of Haj quota in last 29 years , from 1.36 lakh to 1.70 lakh . This was announced by union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on last Wednesday.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Naqvi with Saudi Arabia’s Haj and Umrah Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten at Jeddah inked an agreement in this regard for making the expansion effective from the current year .
The Saudi authorities had five years ago slashed quotas for foreign pilgrims coming from each country by 20 per cent in view of safety of the devotees as they undertook expansion of Grand Mosque there. Accordingly, India’s quota was brought down to 1.36 lakh from nearly 1.70 lakh in 2012.
Expressing pleasure at signing of the agreement, Naqvi said his meeting with Benten was “very fruitful” as constructive discussion was held on the whole gamut of issues related to the pilgrimage, transport and accommodation facilities for pilgrims and their safety.
“On behalf of the people and Government of India, we also extend gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Excellency Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, for his keen personal interest and initiative in organizing a successful Haj 2016,” Naqvi said in a statement. The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia during April last year added new dimensions to our vibrant relationship,” he said.
The government has urged pilgrims to submit their applications online, as part of its efforts to streamline the process of Haj application Form submission . In December last year, a new Haj website was launched which provides all necessary information to Haj pilgrims . The Minister had launched on 2nd January 2017 , the Haj Committee of India mobile application to help pilgrims apply online.