The Union Cabinet has decided that 1,25,000 pilgrims would be covered by the Haj subsidy scheme during 2012.
The Cabinet also decided that, apart from passenger service fee (PSF), user development fee (UDF), airport development fee (ADF) and Saudi airport taxes and fees, each pilgrim would pay Rs 20,000 as air fare for Haj 2012.
The balance cost of air travel arrangements would be borne by the Government, an official press release said.
The pilgrims would depart from 21 embarkation points in India. Gaya as an embarkation point has been introduced in place of Patna due to technical difficulties presently in operating direct flights from Patna.
This year the Haj flights would start on September 17, the release said.
The Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal Ministry for Haj matters. However, the air travel arrangements for pilgrims going on Haj through the Haj Committee of India are made by Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The number of pilgrims, the embarkation points and the fare to charged from each pilgrim is decided by the Cabinet every year.
The element of cost of air travel arrangements in excess of the fare paid by the pilgrims is the Haj subsidy borne by the Government, which is called Haj subsidy.
Untill 2009, the pilgrims were carried by Saudi Arabian Airlines on negotiated fares and by Air India on cost basis.
From 2010, it was decided to select the airlines through a tendering process. The airline offering the lowest fare from an embarkation point will be engaged to carry the haj pilgrims.
1.25 lakh pilgrims to be covered under Haj subsidy
Friday, 20 July 2012, 22:55 (IST)
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