110,000 Haj pilgrims to be covered under subsidy scheme this year

November 14th, 2007 - 8:18 am ICT by admin  
The Union Cabinet gave its approval to various proposals for implementation of the Haj 2007 operations.

The Cabinet decided to include Varanasi as an embarkation point for Haj over and above the existing ones, besides deciding to retain the 110,000 number of pilgrims to be covered under the subsidy scheme.

Air fare for the round trip to Jeddah/Madinah would remain at Rs. 12,000 and the rest of the cost would be paid as subsidy by the government to Air India, a Cabinet release said.

Airport Tax levied by the Saudi Government at the rate of 50 Saudi Arabian Riyals per passenger will have to be paid by the pilgrim, the release said.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) will transport upto 59,000 pilgrims at the return fare of 772 dollars for Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad and 849 dollars from Chennai and Bangalore, in addition an insurance surcharge of 10 dollars will be charged per pilgrim from each station for each return seat.

Remaining pilgrims will be transported by Air India from Lucknow, Kolkata, Calicut, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Patna, Guwahati, Jaipur, Srinagar and Varanasi.

The movement of Haj pilgrims from India to Saudi Arabia is scheduled to commence from November 10.

The total cost of operation for Haj 2007 is estimated to be around Rs. 519 crores (Rs. 5.19 billion). (ANI)

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