Govt ends Haj subsidy to pilgrims, says Muslims didn’t benefit from it

Govt ends Haj subsidy to pilgrims, says Muslims didn’t benefit from it
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NEW DELHI: There will be no subsidy for Haj from this year, said Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday.

Naqvi told reporters that despite the subsidy withdrawal, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India.

“Muslims didn’t benefit from it. Development with dignity is what we believe in. The subsidy will be used for educating girls,” Mr Naqvi said, reported NDTV.

Naqvi also said that the Saudi Arabian government has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters and cited a host of measures for the welfare of minorities.

Earlier this year, Naqvi had said that the Centre would abolish the subsidy for Haj pilgrims in accordance with a Supreme Court order.

“A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had, during the Congress regime in 2012, directed that the Haj subsidy be done away with.

Hence, in the new policy, as per the recommendations of a committee, we have decided to do away with the Haj subsidy gradually,” he had said.

PTI inputs