“GST on Haj has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent which will significantly lower the air fare thus saving Haj pilgrim’s 113 crore rupees this year”, informed Union Minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while addressing at the inaugural ceremony of a new conference hall and passport section at the Haj House in Mumbai.
Naqvi said this for the first time since the independence that 2,340 women from India will go on 2019 Haj without Mehram. He also claimed eliminating middlemen and has ensured that Haj pilgrimage had not become expensive despite removal of Haj subsidy.
The Haj subsidy was removed last year in the light of a 2012 Supreme Court verdict. Speaking at the two-day training programme related to Haj 2019 at Mumbai, Naqvi said transparency ensured by government meant there was no additional, unnecessary financial burden on pilgrims.
He added that for the first time post-Independence, a record number of 1,75,025 Muslims from India, including about 48 per cent women, performed Haj last year and that too without any subsidy.
With the reduction in GST on Haj pilgrimage there has been a significant decrease in airfare from various embarkation points. Air fare from Srinagar will be reduced by Rs 11,377.07, from Ahmedabad by Rs 7305.95, from Aurangabad by Rs 9373.68, from Delhi by Rs 7967.62, from Gaya by Rs 11027.85, from Guwahati by Rs 13049.63, from Ranchi by Rs 11946.84, from Kolkata by Rs 9787.22 and Hydebarad by Rs 7204.87 this year, the statement said.
Naqvi meanwhile said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia Haj Consulate, Haj Committee of India and other concerned agencies, has advanced Haj 2019 preparations by three months before schedule to make the pilgrimage more comfortable.
COURTESY :- NEWS BHARATI