The year 2018 that began with the end of Haj subsidy has been marked by a record 175,025 Indians heading for Saudi Arabia and is also distinct for a record 47 per cent women among the pilgrims including 1,308 without their ‘mehram’ (male companion).
“For the first time after the Independence, record 1,75,025 Muslims from India are going to Haj this year. These include record more than 47 per cent female pilgrims,” Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said addressing an orientation cum training camp here.
Despite removal of Haj subsidy and various new taxes imposed in Saudi Arabia, a lot of Muslims from India are going to Haj this year that too without any additional financial burden, he said. In fact, the airlines will be getting Rs 57 crore less this year from the passengers.
“Even after ending the Haj subsidy, airlines will be paid Rs 57 crore less … Last year Rs 1,030 crore was paid to airlines as air fare…