People have wholeheartedly welcomed the decision to make online the application process for Haj 2017, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said in Mumbai on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting of All India Haj Umrah Tour Organisers Association, the Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs said the Haj application process began from January 2 and the last date for submitting applications is January 24.
It is for the first time that Haj application process in India has been made digital/online, he said.
“Over three lakh people have so far applied for Haj 2017, of which over one lakh people have applied online and through the Haj mobile app,” Naqvi said.
The Government has been encouraging online applications for Haj, so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort, he added.
“Over 34,500 more Haj pilgrims will go to Haj 2017. It is the biggest increase after several years in the number of Haj pilgrims from India. The decision in this regard was taken during my Saudi Arabia visit. Fruitful discussion had been held on facilities for the pilgrims, including accommodation, transportation and safety of the pilgrims,” he said.
During the Haj 2016, about 99,903 people went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage from 21 embarkation points across India through Haj Committee of India. Apart from this, about 36,000 pilgrims went through private tour operators.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs has prepared a short film, which will provide all the necessary information to Haj pilgrims. This film will be shown to pilgrims at the training camps to be organised for pilgrims.
“It will be ensured that the new system doesn’t put burden on Haj pilgrims,” he said.
Naqvi also made it clear that Haj subsidy will not be removed during Haj 2017.