The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi with the Haj Minister of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten, at Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) on January 11, 2017.(PIB)

Haj Applications Online Made Open, Haj Review Committee Formed

The government has launched a trilingual website for Haj Matters on January 2, 2017 in Hindi, Urdu and English for Haj online applications, which has received wide attention.

Besides giving giving information about the Haj Department of the Ministry of Minority Affairs, it provides information on Haj Pilgrimage, rules and regulations. The Haj affairs are being looked after by the Ministry of Minority Affairs now, not the Ministry of External Affairs as in the past.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, said the website also has Do’s and Don’ts during Haj and also a film informing about various aspects of the pilgrimage. Efforts are also on with officials of Civil Aviation Ministry to provide aircraft with all modern facilities for Haj pilgrims, he added.

The website is a one stop facility to provide all necessary information relating to Haj management in one place. It features information on various agencies involved in Haj management, useful contacts of the central and state Haj authorities, location maps of State Haj Houses, location maps of accommodation sites in Makkah and Medina etc., and useful links to the website of Haj Committee of India and Consulate General of India, Jeddah.

The website also hosts information about the Private Tour Operators(PTO) and has provision for getting feedback from users and for making complaints.

Haj Committee Formed to Review HAJ Policy

Indian Ministry of Minority Affairs has constituted a Committee on January 31, 2017 under a retired IAS officer Afzal Amanullah to review the Haj Policy 2013-17 and to suggest framework for Haj Policy for five years from 2018 to 2022.

This Committee comprises of Mr. Amanullah, former Secretary to Government of India and former Consul General, Consulate General of India, Jeddah, Justice S.S. Parkar, Retired Judge of Bombay High Court, Mr. Qaiser Shamim, IRS (Retd), former Chairman, Haj Committee of India, Mr. Kamal Faruqui, Chartered Accountant & Muslim Scholar, Mr. Michael Mascarenhas, former CMD, Air India and Mr. J. Alam, Joint Secretary, in-charge of Haj, Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The committee will review the existing Haj policy pertaining to HCoI and PTOs, examine implications of various directions of the Supreme Court to reduce Haj subsidy by 2022, review arrangements made by HCoI for Haj pilgrims’ accommodation and air travel including issues related with Haj subsidy.

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