ISLAMABAD The Ministry of Religious Affairs is likely to brush aside the recommendations of the Senate regarding decrease in Haj fares and revisiting of Haj policy as its Federal Minister will not attend the Cabinet meeting, which is to discuss these issues today. Federal Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi is in Saudi Arabia on the special invitation of Saudi Government to participate in the ceremony of Ghusal-e-Kaba that was scheduled to be held on Tuesday and so would not be available in the Cabinet to brief on the issue. The sources in the ministry revealed that the Federal Secretary of Religious Affairs would give a presentation to the cabinet on the proposals of the Senate. Many legislators of the Upper House have showed their reservations on the absence of the federal minister saying that the presence of the minister was necessary in the Cabinet meeting to plead the case in a strong way. The Federal Secretary is only a part of the execution agency to implement the orders of the Government and not part of the policymaking at the cabinet level, they added. Senator Mohammad Ali Durrani, who is also member of the Senates Standing Committee on Religious Affairs, was of the view that the presentation of the Federal Secretary to the Cabinet had no importance and it had made the case considerably weak. The Ministry has already rejected the recommendations of the subcommittee of the Senate constituted to review the Haj policy including Haj fares in one way or the other. The parawise answers of these recommendations sent by the Ministry to the Senate are not satisfactory and it seems that the Ministry has thrown the issue in the dustbin. The subcommittee had recommended for the decrease in Haj fares to the rate of the last year i-e,Rs2,00000 adding that the civilians should be sent as Khudam-ul-Hujaj instead of the armed forces personnel. They also recommended to appoint a senator in the monitoring cell of the ministry that was established in Saudia during Haj days. The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs is also likely to move a privilege motion in the upcoming session of the Senate and would also write to the Premier in a protest if its recommendations were not properly addressed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The legislators from both the treasury as well as opposition benches had walked out from the Upper House in its last sitting in a protest against the increase in Haj fares and later passed a unanimous resolution for the considerable decrease in the said fares. The Chairman of the Senate in its ruling had directed the concerned ministry to take necessary action to implement the recommendations of the Upper House and had constituted a subcommittee in that regard. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi, on the floor of the House, had assured the senators that the reservations of the legislators would be tabled before the upcoming cabinet meeting and the ministry had no objection if it approved the decrease in fares, as the cabinet was the final as well as competent authority for that approval. The concerned ministry while announcing its Haj policy this year had increased 19 percent of Haj fares up to 226,000 for the pilgrims flying from Karachi as well as Quetta and the fares were increased up to 2,38000 for the other parts of the country.