ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Authorised branches of as many as eight banks will today (Monday) start accepting Hajj application for pilgrimage under government scheme. The applications can be sumitted till April 26.

According to Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, the balloting for successful pilgrims will be held on 29th of this month. Over one hundred and forty three thousand Pakistanis will offer pilgrimage this year.

Sixty percent pilgrims will perform Hajj under the Government scheme and forty percent through Hajj Group Organizers, Sardar told newsmen while announcing Hajj Policy 2016 last week.

The Minister said the Hajj package will be 261,941 rupees for pilgrims from the South Region and 270,941 rupees for the North Region.

He said nobody would be allowed to perform Hajj on government expenditure. Furthermore, those who performed Hajj in last five years will also not be able to apply for pilgrimage this year.