Federal cabinet to mull proposal to cut Hajj expenses

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair a federal cabinet meeting on Tuesday, where approval would be given to the Hajj Policy 2020.
According to sources, the cabinet would decide over the expenses to be incurred on Hajj from the country in 2020.
“A proposal to lower down Hajj expenses by Rs 50,000 to 60,000 will be presented in the cabinet on Tuesday and after a nod from the cabinet, federal Minister for Religious Affairs will announce the policy,” they said.
On January 23, the Ministry of Religious Affairs admitted before a Senate panel that this
year’s Hajj package will cost pilgrims Rs1,15000 more.
The secretary concerned informed the Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Inter-Faith Harmony that rupee depreciation and airfare hike forced the government to jack up the Hajj cost.
The religious affairs secretary said about 1,79000 people will be able to go on the holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia this year.
Moreover, other than the Hajj expenses issue, the prime minister would also lay guidelines in the cabinet meeting to bring down the prices of basic commodities’ items and an important announcement is expected after the cabinet meeting in this regard.
“Improving numbers of utility stores and cooperation under the Ehsaas programme will also come under discussion during the meeting,” they said.
The cabinet would also mull over the ongoing political situation while the prime minister would also be briefed over the progress made in the flour crisis probe.
The prime minister would take the members into confidence over the recent Malaysia trip.
The issues pertaining to a resolution on the public hanging of the child rape convicts passed recently from the National Assembly and progress in talks with the coalition partners would also come under discussion during the meeting.
Meanwhile, various issues including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the supply routes for NATO forces in Afghanistan will also be discussed in the federal cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet meeting will consider the issue of visitor management policy and regulatory framework, while, the extension of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the transit of cargo between Pakistan and the United States will also be on the agenda. Under the MoU, the American cargo can be transported to Afghanistan via Pakistan.
The federal cabinet meeting will be briefed on the holding of a global conference on the 40 years of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The World Conference will be held on February 17 and 18 in Islamabad.
The cabinet meeting will consider the import of statues from India and summary for the amendment in Export and Import Policy Order 2016 will also submitted in the meeting, while cabinet will also be briefed on the investment. – NNI

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