|Union Minister of State for Minority
Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar
Abbas Naqvi today said here that the new Haj policy-2018 will be
unveiled this month.
At a review meeting on Haj 2017 and 22 nd annual Haj orientation camp
organised for Haj pilgrims at Haj House, Mumbai, Shri Naqvi said that
from the next year, Haj will be organised according to the new Haj
A high-level committee constituted to frame the new Haj policy is in
final stage of shaping the policy and it will be unveiled this month.
Shri Naqvi said that the new Haj policy is aimed at making Haj process
more transparent and smooth. Providing best facilities to Haj pilgrims
is at centre of this new Haj policy.
Shri Naqvi said that reviving the option of sending Haj pilgrims through
sea route also is one of the important part of the new Haj policy.
Sending pilgrims through ships will help cut down travel expenses by
nearly half as compared to airfares. It will be a revolutionary,
pro-poor, pilgrim- friendly decision. The practice of ferrying Haj
pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways was stopped from 1995.
Shri Naqvi said that another advantage with ships available these days
is they are modern and well-equipped to ferry 4,000 to 5,000 persons at
a time. They can cover the 2,300-odd nautical miles one-side distance
between Mumbai and Jeddah within just two-three days. Earlier, the old
ships used to take 12 to 15 days to cover this distance. Shri Naqvi said
that a high-level meeting will be held under the chairmanship of
Shipping Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi on 28 th August.
Senior officials from Shipping Ministry and Minority Affairs Ministry
will be attending the meeting.
Shri Naqvi said that discussion is going on with Saudi Arabia Government
on reviving Haj pilgrimage through sea route also.
Shri Naqvi said that Ministry of Minority Affairs, in operation with Haj
Committee of India and other concerned agencies, had completed
preparations for Haj 2017 well before in time to ensure smooth Haj
During the review meeting, Shri Naqvi discussed in detail all the issues
related to Haj pilgrims with the concerned officials. Shri Naqvi said
that facilities given to the Haj pilgrims and their safety is priority
of the Central Government.
At the orientation/training camp, officials of Haj Committee of India
and other concerned agencies gave various information to the Haj
pilgrims. Haj 2017 started with departure of Haj pilgrims from various
embarkation points across the country on 24 th July. Saudi Arabia has
increased annual Haj quota of India by 34,005. After significant
increase in India’s Haj quota by Saudi Arabia Government, a total of
1,70,025 people have been going to Haj pilgrimage this year from India
out of which 1,25,025 pilgrims are going through Haj Committee of India
while 45,000 people are going through Private Tour Operators from 21
During first phase of Haj 2017, about 65,000 Haj pilgrims have gone to
Saudi Arabia. In the first phase, Haj pilgrims went from embarkation
points in Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Gauhati, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore,
Srinagar and Varanasi.
In the second phase, Haj pilgrims will go from Bangalore, Bhopal,
Ranchi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai, Aurangabad,
Ahmedabad and Indore. The second phase will end on 26 th August.