The federal government will accept applications for its Haj scheme starting from February 25 until March 6 at 14 designated banks, Radio Pakistan reported on Tuesday.
As per the Haj Policy 2019 released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, a total of 184,210 Pakistani pilgrims are to perform Haj this year.
The policy states that there would be no free Haj facility this year, according to the report.
The 2019 Haj scheme will be implemented by the government as well as private Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) in the ratio of 60:40.
Under the government scheme, the Haj dues will be: Rs436,975 for the northern region of the country including Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan and Rahim Yar Khan, while the cost for the south region including Karachi, Quetta and Sukkur will be Rs426,975.
The charges are exclusive of the cost for qurbani (animal sacrifice) services, which can be optionally availed for another Rs19,451.
The aspiring pilgrims will be selected under the government scheme through a computerised ballot on March 8, Radio Pakistan reported.
This season, 10,000 seats will be reserved for senior citizens above the age of 80 and another 10,000 seats will be reserved for those individuals who had been unsuccessful in the ballot for the last three years. Under the government scheme, 1.5 per cent of the total seats will be reserved for hardship cases.
According to the policy, all pilgrims will be provided five litres of Aab-i-Zamzam at no additional charge.
On January 31, the federal cabinet had announced the Haj Policy 2019 under which the cost of performing the ritual under the government scheme has been fixed at 456,426 rupees (with qurbani), against last year’s expense of Rs280,000 per person.
Now, every individual would have to pay an additional Rs176,426, making Haj 63pc costlier. Opposition parties in the Senate have rejected the increase in Haj costs.