Islamabad (Online) - Federal Religious Affairs Minister Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has said the government is ready to privatise the Haj operations after the approval of the parliament. the new Haj policy will soon be announced and the applications for pilgrimage will be received from April 10, said the minister while responding to different questions raised by the parliamentarians during question hour in the National Assembly session on Wednesday. Shah said no subsidy could be offered to Pakistani pilgrims because the Islamic Ideological Council issued a decree in this regard. The services of Saudis would be hired as Khadamul Hajaj instead of Pakistanis because they knew all the holy places and routes and they would help serve Pakistani intending pilgrims better as well. He told the Lower House that any parliamentarian would pay the dues if he/she stayed at Pakistan House Makkah. On the instructions of the Supreme Court, an amount of Rs 440 million was paid to Pakistani pilgrims affected by the Haj mismanagement last year. He said that the government was stepping up efforts to reduce the Haj expenses to Rs 190,000 million from Rs 240,000 million. If Haj operation would be given to private sector, the people could not bear expenditures, he informed the National Assembly It would be my personal desire that the accommodation for intending pilgrims may be hired within the sphere of 2,000 metres from Haram", Shah added. Replying another question, the federal minister said that floods badly affected cotton production and if the government would impose a ban on export of cotton, the farmers would not sow this cotton, preferring other crops to cotton. Federal Inter-provisional Harmony Minister Mian Raza Rabbani told the House that the province would work on education as the sector was transferred to the provinces after the historic change. He said that international donor agencies could contact provinces through the Finance Ministry, which would play the role of post office in this regard. Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said Pakistan Railways (PR) could be transformed into a profit earning organisation if it gets 400 locomotives. Responding to a call attention notice in National Assembly, he said that the Ministry is trying its best to improve the services but due to budget deficit PR is facing problems and difficulties. Bilour said that Railways was promised Rs 5 billion in January 2010 but the amount was not given. He further said that another demand of Rs 11 billion was placed before the Cabinet and it was said that the amount would be arranged from commercial loans, however, the Ministry wanted it to be given by SPB, as it has low mark-up rate. The Minister further said that the ministry has 5,000 wagons in ready conditions, which need 400 locomotives for meeting 100 per cent deficit in the budget. He said Railways budget was reduced to Rs 7.3 billion from Rs 13.6 billion after cut in the development allocations. He said out of total 520 locomotives only 146 are on track while rest of the locomotives are out of order, similarly, 70 per cent carriages are out of service. The government should complete arrangements to release the approved Rs 11.5 billion Railways bailout package in one go, he said, adding, that PR is a cheap mode of transportation. He said the PR was losing business to road transporters because it was running only four freight trains daily. The PR suspended passenger trains on seven routes last year, he added. Bilour said Rs 11.5 billion PR-specific package was approved by the Federal Cabinet on Dec 30, but the Finance Division had not released the amount.