Govt withdraws Haj subsidy; Move to empower Muslims without appeasement, says Naqvi
The government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw the subsidy provided to Haj pilgrims. Announcing the move, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the fund will instead be spent on the empowerment of Muslims.
Naqvi said a record number of 1.75 lakh Indian pilgrims will go to Haj this year without the subsidy.
He said that the Saudi Arabian government has in principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities.
“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters and cited a host of measures for the welfare of minorities.
Naqvi had earlier said that the government would do away with the subsidy as per a Supreme Court order.
“A constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had, during the Congress regime in 2012, directed that the Haj subsidy be done away with. Hence, in the new policy, as per the recommendations of a committee, we have decided to do away with the Haj subsidy gradually,” he had said in October last year.
A government committee formed to draft a new Haj policy had also proposed to abolish the …read more