Centre pull the plug on Haj subsidy, will use the funds to educate girls

Giving the subtle hints of withdrawing subsidy given to Haj pilgrims time-and-again, the central government has finally pull the plug to the subsidy given to Haj pilgrims. The Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the decision is in line with the government’s agenda to empower the minorities without appeasement.

Naqvi also said that for the time in Independent India around 1.75 lakh pilgrims will go to Haj without a subsidy, a rise from the 1.25 lakh went for the annual pilgrimage last year.

Naqvi also gave an idea as how the government plans to spend the money that will be saved after taking off the subsidy. Naqvi said that the funds will be directed towards educating the minorities, particularly girls.

The decision to abolish Haj subsidy comes a day after the government allowed Muslim women above the age of 45 to go on the pilgrimage without a male guardian, in groups of at least four.

The minority affairs ministry had last year constituted a committee to review the existing Haj policy and suggest a framework for a new Haj policy for 2018-22.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s Kamal Farooqui welcomed the move, saying that a wrong impression was being created that Muslims were gaining from the government aid. “Instead, it was national carrier Air India that was the biggest beneficiary of this government scheme,” he said.

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