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'Give subsidy to reduce Hajj expenses,' Senate panel set to contact PM Shehbaz

07:34 PM | 25 Mar, 2023
'Give subsidy to reduce Hajj expenses,' Senate panel set to contact PM Shehbaz
Source: Photo by Haydan As-soendawy

ISLAMABAD - To lessen the cost of Hajj for inflation-ridden Pakistani pilgrims, subsidy would be sought from the government, it emerged on Friday.

Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony would write a letter to the Prime Minister in this regard seeking subsidy for the pilgrims intending to perform the ritual this year.

Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri recently expressed that due to devaluation of Pakistan's currency, the cost of Hajj sky rocketed this year; however, subsidy would be sought from the government to share the burden of the pilgrims.

'The prime minister would be contacted in this regard as the increasing Hajj expenses are a burden on the masses,' he said as reported by ARY News. 

The process for Hajj has already been started by the government and the designated banks across the country are currently receiving the Hajj applications which would continue till March 31st. The balloting for successful applicants under the government scheme would be done on April 5th.

Pakistan’s quota for Hajj 2023 is 179,210 pilgrims. This is the first time that the government of Saudi Arabia has restored the number of pilgrims to pre-Covid levels. 

It is to be highlighted that 50 percent quota has been reserved for Sponsorship scheme which is a special facility given to Hajj pilgrims seeking foreign exchange from abroad in the specific dollar account of the religious affairs ministry.

Under the scheme, overseas Pakistanis would be able to get exemption from the usual balloting process but depositing dollars from Pakistan is not allowed. This facility would be available on 'first come first serve' basis.

Moreover, three percent (2,688) of the total seats under the government Hajj scheme will be reserved for hardship cases like newborns or broken families.

Pilgrims who have performed Hajj in the last five are not eligible to apply in the regular Hajj scheme this year but Mahram of women going to Hajj for the first time will be exempt from this condition.

The Hajj will take place in June this year and the government of Saudi Arabia is finalizing the details for the biggest religious event of the kingdom.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 26 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 26 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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