The Haj committee of India (HCoI) has proposed to the central government to not levy GST on pilgrims going for Haj 2018 in wake of Haj subsidy rollback.
HCoI member, Iftikhar Javed, present in Lucknow on Monday, said that HCoI has written to the central government to end airport tax in the form of GST on Hajis to ease some burden off the pilgrims.
“With the Haj subsidy slashed, pilgrims could have to pay an approximate Rs 25,000 including taxes of around Rs 10,000. If the latter is taken back by the government, it would be helpful to Hajis,” he said.
On Monday, the state Haj committee held its Qurrah (draw of lots) for selection of persons to the holy pilgrimage to Mecca in 2018. The state had 42,892 applications (including 22 infants) for UP’s quota of 29,851 seats. Of these, 2,621 seats have been taken up by applicants above 70 years of age under the reserved category and 32 seats by women who have applied in eight groups of four to go on the pilgrimage without mehram (male accomplice).
This meant selection of pilgrims to remaining 27,198 seats, which was done in the presence of cabinet minister for minority welfare, Laxmi Narayan Chaudhary, and state minister for Muslim waqf and Haj, Mohsin Raza at the Ali Miyan Memorial Haj House off Kanpur road.
Raza added, “this only shows Azam Khan’s mal-intentions proving that in the last five years when it was their government, he worked only for his good. Had it been for the pilgrims, Khan would have been here on this day too. Why is he still holding the post then?”
Backing up the central government’s decision to end Haj subsidy, Chadhary said, “”Politics of appeasement should not be done. What is wrong if the subsidy is taken and will be put for education of girls? The subsidy was not part of the religion anyway. Opposition comes from those who know nothing about Islam or Hinduism.” Raza adding to it said, “Questions should have been raised on who started the Haj subsidy when it is against Islamic Shariat, but questions were raised on ending something un-Islamic for that money to be used on education of girls!”