ISLAMABAD  - The designated online branches of six scheduled banks will start receiving applications under government Hajj scheme on Monday (April 21).
A total of 143,368 Pakistanis will perform the religious obligation, including 56,684 under the government Hajj scheme and 86,684 under the private Hajj scheme (Hajj group organisers, HGOs). According to an official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the policy of first come first serve would continue this year also. No application would be accepted after completion of required number of applications . The applicants must write prominently the date and time of depositing Hajj application.
The aspirants to perform Hajj under the government scheme should write their machine readable passport number or receipt number of the new passport application. The applications can be deposited at online branches of National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited, Muslim Commercial Bank Limited and Agricultural Development Bank Limited.
The Hajj package for south region (Karachi, Quetta and Sukkur) will be Rs 262,231 and for north region (Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad and Sialkot) Rs 272,231. An additional amount of Rs 14,500 will be required for the applicants opting to perform their Qurbani (sacrifice) through Islamic Development Bank.
Any person, who has performed Hajj during last five years, is not be eligible to perform Hajj 2014, except as “Mehram” or the one undertaking “Hajj-e-Badal”.
Five percent of total seats under the government scheme have been reserved for hardship cases, including the pilgrims recommended and funded by charitable institutions, labour/low paid employees of different public sector organizations/corporate entities under the concept of corporate social responsibility, etc. Each aspirant is required to undertake at the time of submitting Hajj application that before departure he will arrange minimum personal exchange quota of SR 1500 on his own to meet personal and Qurbani expenditures in Saudi Arabia. Buying food from Saudi companies has been made essential for the Pakistani Hujjaj and the amount for the purpose will be paid in advance.