Hajj 2021 expected by June-July; final decision still awaited

Mecca: Hajj 2021 is likely to be expected by June-July, however, the final decision is awaited and will be subjected to national and international COVID-19 protocols and standards, announced Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Naqvi.

During a high-level meeting over the for Hajj 2021 the minister said that the final decision would be announced only after the Saudi Arabian government’s final call and the authorities would surely review the national as well as international COVID-19 guidelines.

Furthermore, he assured that the final decision regarding Haj 2021 will be taken in due course and also ensured the health and well-being of people.

The minister also announced that the entire Haj process might witness a significant change in view of the guidelines, including those related to the accommodation, transport, health and other facilities both in India and Saudi Arabi.

He said the health and well-being of the pilgrims is of utmost priority for the government in the wake of the pandemic.

Stating that the Indian agencies and Hajj committees have already started the preparations and special care is been taken amid the ongoing pandemic.

Due to a 100-per cent digitisation of the Haj process in India, Rs 2,100 crore have been returned through the direct bank transfer (DBT) mode, without any deduction, to 1,23,000 people after the cancellation of Haj 2020 due to the pandemic, Naqvi said.

The Saudi Arabian government has also returned about Rs 100 crore for transportation, he added.

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