Mumbai: The question of keeping or doing away with the Hajj Subsidy has been raised time and again and is being debated once again these days. Muslim leaders have repeatedly demanded the removal of Hajj Subsidy. On the contrary, they have demanded a transparent Hajj policy in which all the expenses are clear and open. The Hajj policy they suggest would decide the airline ticket cost through global tender.
On the other hand Muslim leaders are also saying that rich Muslims should not avail Hajj subsidy. The question of a Hajj subsidy being Islamic or not is also being raised.
Among all these questions Hajj subsidy is being considered as a hurdle and needs to be done away with.
In 2016 the Indian Government granted a Hajj subsidy of INR 405 crore. This year about one lakh people performed Hajj through the Hajj Committee of Indian government. This year, as many as 1,70,000 Muslims can perform Hajj. Out of these 1,25,000 people would go on Hajj through private operators. No subsidy is available on private tour operators. It is because the Central government is providing the subsidy as per the orders of Supreme Court in 2012. The Supreme Court ordered in 2012 that Hajj subsidy be removed in the next ten years.
Muslim leaders are of the opinion that a big part of the Hajj subsidy gets spent in conveyance expenses only. They think that the air fare of Air India is unreasonably high. Private operators are also not happy with the system of Hajj subsidy.
Yusuf Ahmad of Al-khaled Tours and Travels says that Hajj subsidy is a noose in the neck of Muslims and it needs to go. He also suggests that global tender needs to be accessed by the Indian government for Hajj fares. This reduces air fares.
After this discussion, a five member team has been formed to look into this matter by the Parliament under the leadership of Afzal Amaanullah. The five member committee will check if the needy are getting the benefits of subsidy or does this needs to go completely.