By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: India will take a call on regarding Hajj 2021 in due course time depending upon national-international Protocol Guidelines due to Coivd-19pandemic position. This decision was taken at Hajj 2021 review meeting held here on Sunday. The Indian Hajj pilgrims did not perform this year’s Hajj as Saudi Arabia government did not allow international pilgrims to travel to Makkah and Medina because of prevailing covid pandemic.
While chairing Haj 2021 review meeting, Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that Haj 2021 will depend on national-international Protocol Guidelines due to Pandemic Position.
“Final decision regarding Hajj 2021 will be taken in due course keeping in view necessary guidelines to be issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona Pandemic”
Hajj 2021 is scheduled for June-July 2021, but the final decision regarding Hajj 2021 will be taken in due course keeping in view necessary guidelines to be issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona Pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people.
Secretary, Minority Affairs Ministry, P K Das and other senior officials of the Ministry; Joint Secretary, External Affairs , Vipul; Joint Secretary Civil Aviation Ministry S K Mishra attended the review meeting. Besides, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia; Y. Sabir, Acting Consul General in Jeddah; M a Khan, CEO Haj Committee of India and other officials from Health Ministry, Air India etc attended the meeting through video conferencing.
Naqvi said that Hajj Committee of India and other Indian agencies will formally announce Hajj 2021 application process and other related preparations after a decision is taken by the Saudi Arabia Government on Hajj 2021.
He said that the entire Hajj process might witness a significant change in view of necessary guidelines. These include accommodation, transport, health and other facilities both in India and Saudi Arabia.
Health and well-being of the pilgrims is of the utmost priority for the Government due to Corona pandemic and the Indian agencies will ensure necessary arrangements in this regard, he added.
The Government of India and Hajj Committee have started necessary preparations to ensure health and well-being of the pilgrims.
The minister Naqvi said that due to 100 per cent digital Hajj process of India, Rs 2100 core has been returned through DBT mode, without any deduction, to 1 lakh 23,000 people after cancellation of Hajj 2020 due to Corona pandemic. The Saudi Arabia Government has also returned about Rs 100 crore regarding transportation.
Only because of 100 per cent digital Hajj process in India, about Rs 514 crore surplus amount of Hajj pilgrims during last 3 years has also been returned back into their bank accounts directly even during this Corona pandemic, he further said.