Modi government ends Haj subsidy

Modi government ends Haj subsidy

By: || Updated: 16 Jan 2018 04:54 PM

Before the sea route was closed, it used to take nearly a week for the pilgrims to reach Jeddah from the Yellow Gate in Mumbai's Mazgaon, the source added. Photo: AP

New Delhi: The central government on Tuesday withdrew the subsidy given to thousands of Muslims going for Haj pilgrimage.

Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision is aimed at government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasement.

Speaking to reporters, Naqvi said 1.75 lakh Muslims, highest ever number, will go on Haj this year.

"This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement," Naqvi told reporters here.

The union minister said the government would also save Rs 700 crore by ending the subsidy.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for education of minorities, particularly girls.

The decision comes at a time when the government had been weighing the option of opening the sea route to Haj pilgrims who travel by air.

On December 31, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government has removed the restriction following which hundreds of women have applied to travel alone for the pilgrimage.

According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, now Muslim women aged above 45 will be allowed to go for the pilgrimage without 'mahram' in a group of at least four.

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