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Govt slashes airfare for Haj pilgrims

Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2018 (18:45 IST)
New Delhi: A month after abolishing subsidy, the Union Government on Tuesday announced a major reduction in airfare for those going on Haj.Talking to mediapersons here, Minister described the move as a '‘major step'’.“The Prime Minister’s Office took a keen interest in this. The decision is in line with our 'empowerment without appeasement policy',” Mr Naqvi said. 

He said the fare reduction will be applicable to all airlines, including Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas, airlines based in Saudi Arabia, carrying hajis. Currently airlines are flying to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports from India.After the reduction the airfare for Haj from Mumbai will be Rs 57,857 instead of Rs 98,750 in 2013-2014 under the Congress-led UPA government. Fare from Ahmedabad reduced to Rs 65,015 this year from Rs 98,750 in 2013-14, Mr Naqvi said.

The Minority Affairs Minister also pointed out the differences in airfare from various airports between the years. From Aurangabad (Rs 118,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 84,946 in 2018); Bengaluru (Rs 104,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 82,419 in 2018); Bhopal (Rs 127,750 in 2013-14 to Rs 91,090 in 2018); Kozhikode (Rs 104,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 74,431 in 2018); Chennai (Rs 105,000 in 2013-14 to Rs 77,181 in 2018).From Delhi it was Rs 98,750 in 2013-14, the government has reduced it to Rs 71,853 in 2018, he said. Gaya (Rs 146,500 in 2013-14 to Rs 98,852 in 2018); Goa (Rs 127,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 82,730 in 2018); Guwahati (Rs 134,100 in 2013-14 to Rs 112,837 in 2018); Hyderabad (Rs 101,600 in 2013-14 to Rs 65,766 in 2018); Jaipur (Rs 110,900 in 2013-14 to Rs 79,038 in 2018).

Likewise from Kolkata (Rs 112,450 in 2013-14 to Rs 89,589 in 2018); Lucknow (Rs 106,750 in 2013-14 to Rs 78,933 in 2018); Mangalore (Rs 145,250 in 2013-14 to Rs 84,280 in 2018); Nagpur (Rs 116,950 in 2013-14 to Rs 70,680 in 2018); Ranchi (Rs 137,650 in 2013-14 to Rs 103,353 in 2018); Srinagar (Rs 198,350 in 2013-14 to Rs 101,400 in 2018) and Varanasi (Rs 112,300 in 2013-14 to Rs 92,004 in 2018), he added.Taking a potshot at the previous UPA government, Mr Naqvi said the decision to cut airfares will end the “looting and political, economic exploitation” of hajis “as was done during the Congress-led UPA regime”. 

This year 1.75 lakh Muslims will go for Haj from India, Mr Nakhvi informed.He said the Union Government has succeeded in getting India’s Haj quota increased for the consecutive second year and now. “For the first time after the Independence, a record 1,75,025 pilgrims from India will go to Haj 2018. Three years ago, during the Congress regime, India’s Haj quota was about 1,36,020 which has been increased to record 1,75,025 during the past two years,” Mr Naqvi added. The decision by the Saudi Government to increase India’s Haj quota for 2018 came days after Mr Naqvi signed a bilateral annual Haj 2018 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia. (UNI)
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