The leading trend indicates that the BJP will comfortably form government in the 16th legislative Assembly while the Congress appears to be heading towards the opposition benches, media analyst Om Sharma said.
The government has decided to lay emphasis on ‘Cashless Hajj’ this year. In pursuant to this policy, the Haj pilgrims will be provided with a card by the State Bank of India (SBI) for the use of foreign currency. Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Minority Affairs gave this information on Monday.
Under the earlier system, Haj pilgrims had to deposit 2,100 Saudi Riyals (about Rs 45 thousand) with the Haj Committee of India, which used to be made available to them for spending in Mecca and Medina of Saudi Arabia.
It may be mentioned here that Mecca in Saudi Arabia is considered the holiest place in Islam and all Muslims aspire to make a pilgrimage to the holy shrine in a lifetime. Hence, every year, millions of Muslims visit Saudi Arabia to fulfil their religious obligation.
According to the ministry sources, now the Haj pilgrims no longer need to deposit an amount with the Haj Committee. They can directly use this money through SBI. They will also be given a ‘Forex Card’ and hence won’t need to carry cash. Now, they can spend money according to their needs.
The source said there is an emphasis on the ‘Cashless Haj’ in Digital India. It is the endeavour of the ministry that the pilgrims get maximum facilities and their expenses are also reduced.
According to the ministry, 1.84 lakh applications have been received for Haj this year, out of which 10,621 people above the age of 70 years and 4,314 women who applied for Haj without ‘mahram’ (close male relative) were given priority, based on approval.
The ministry says that 1.4 lakh people have been selected for the Haj pilgrimage, they have been informed through SMS and those whose names are included in the waiting list have also been informed through SMS. This year 1,75,025 people will go on Haj from India. The first flight for Haj Yatra (Hajj Yatra 2023) will start from India on May 21.