Here are reasons behind hike in govt Hajj package!
ISLAMABAD: The citizens willing to perform Hajj rituals witnessed a massive hike in the Hajj expenses under the government scheme this year, ARY News reported on Friday.
Approximately Rs350,000 was hiked in the government Hajj package this year, increasing the overall expenses of pilgrims to Rs1,175,000. The pilgrims will have to pay an additional Rs50,000 to Rs75,000 for sacrificial animals after performing the Hajj rituals.
Moreover, the meal expenses of pilgrims have also increased up to 100% for their 38-day stay, increasing the expenses to over Rs100,000.
Moreover, the accommodation charges in Makkah were increased up to 70% (Rs193,000), whereas, the charges were hiked up to Rs78,000 in Madinah.
READ: HAJJ POLICY 2023: ESTIMATED EXPENSES OF PILGRIMS THIS YEAR
The transport expenses were also doubled up to Rs112,000 and more than Rs43,000 for train fares.
The air travel fares were increased up to Rs70,000, hiking the fares for each pilgrim up to Rs250,000. The cargo charges for carrying Aab-i-Zam Zam were increased up to Rs400 while Rs12,000 will be charged for medicines and vaccines.
The visa fees for Hajj pilgrims were also increased up to Rs22,000 from Rs16,000.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that all designated bank branches will remain open on Saturday and Sunday (March 25 and 26) to facilitate intending pilgrims to deposit their application forms.
The SBP announced to keep 14 banks open on Saturday and Sunday in order to accept Hajj applications.
The announcement comes a day after the Ministry of Religious Affairs requested SBP to direct banks to remain open on Saturday and Sunday for Hajj applications.
The last date for submitting Hajj applications is March 31.