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Haj subsidy likely to end, panel studying Malaysian model

New Delhi: Haj Panel appointed by Govt. of India is seriously studying Malaysian system of sending pilgrims for Haj by their own contributions.

The Malaysian system (Tabunjg Haji) provides facility for the prospective Haj pilgrims to deposit money over the years and when sufficient amount is deposited in the fund, Govt. agency makes arrangements for Haj pilgrimage.

In Malaysian model, Govt. does not provide any subsidy rather pilgrims go for Haj with their own money which they deposit for years. However, in this model pilgrims have to wait for many years.

According to Head of the Govt. appointed panel, Afzal Amanullah, in Malaysian model, pilgrims have to wait for 85 years to pool up money enough to meet their Haj expenses. He further added that such model is not feasible in India.

However, panel is trying to formulate a scheme which can reduce waiting period to 40 to 50 years. The panel also decided to hold fresh round of public hearing to end Haj subsidy.

It may be mentioned that Ministry of Minority Affairs had constituted a panel to study the subsidy system in January this year. This panel was formed in line with the directions given by Supreme Court in 2012 to do away with Haj subsidy by 2022 in phased manner.

It may be mentioned that two years ago, in order to understand ‘Tabunjg Haji’, a group of MPs visited Haj office in Malaysia.

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs had suggested cutting down Haj subsidy by 10% every year after it jumped to Rs. 827 crore in the year 2008.

It may be noted that some Muslims leaders and organizations have also demanded to end Haj subsidy.

In 2008, Former Dy. Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Mr. K. Rahman Khan and some Muslim MPs had demanded to implement Malaysian Model in India as this model is according to Shariat.

Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi, MIM MP from Hyderabad also demanded to end Haj subsidy system. Mr. Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi had suggested that there must be a competition between the airlines. The airlines which offer the cheapest tickets should be allowed to arrange trips for Haj pilgrims. In this way the fare could be reduced.

However, a final report on Haj subsidy is likely to be submitted by the panel shortly.