The government has announced that fresh applications are being accepted for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has stated that interested individuals can apply on a first come first serve basis under the government scheme. The deadline for applications is June 2nd. Applicants can submit their application to the designated office mentioned in the ministry’s tweet.
It is important to note that the initial deadline for applications had already passed, but there are still limited seats available for those who wish to apply. This year, a 50 percent quota has been reserved for the Sponsorship Scheme, which allows Hajj pilgrims to receive foreign exchange from abroad through a specific dollar account managed by the religious affairs ministry.
The government has set the expenses for this year’s Hajj at Rs1.175 million per pilgrim, which is 68% higher than the expenses from last year. This increase in costs has discouraged many Muslims from performing the ritual due to the high inflation.
It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia will be welcoming a large number of pilgrims this year, around 2.3 million, as pandemic restrictions have been lifted. In the 2022 Hajj season, only one million people were able to participate, and only those between the ages of 18 and 65 who were fully vaccinated or immunized against the virus and didn’t have chronic diseases were allowed to visit the kingdom.