Mufti Abdul Shakoor, the minister for religious affairs, announced on Friday that Pakistani pilgrims can submit their applications for the Hajj 2023 to banks between March 16 and March 31, with the drawing taking place in the first week of April.
“According to the financial breakup, the estimated cost of Hajj from the northern region (Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan, Sialkot) is Rs1,175,000, while for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme (northern region) is approximately $4,325.” said the minister.
Additionally, he guaranteed that pilgrims would receive their refunds in cash rather than through their provided bank accounts in the event that the aforementioned Hajj 2023 package was less expensive than anticipated.
The cost of Hajj this year under the government programme is significantly higher, the minister added, as a result of the global recession and the ongoing depreciation of the Pakistani Rupee (an increase of Rs. 300,000).
The minister stated that pilgrims will be able to use the train services in Mina, Muzdalifah, and Arafat, which were unavailable last year, but they will be responsible for paying for this facility themselves.
According to the minister, the Sponsorship Hajj scheme needed $284 million in total, of which it would contribute $194 million. The Finance Minister had promised to contribute the remaining $90 million, the minister said.
According to Abdul Shakoor, 179,210 people will perform the Hajj this year. He also stated that the quota will be split into public and private Hajj schemes with a ratio of 50% each.
Meanwhile, he added that the Sponsorship Hajj scheme will be given a 50% quota of the public and private Hajj schemes, or 44,802 seats in each, and that registration will end once all quotas have been filled.