Finance Minister Ishaq Dar chairs a meeting to review progress on Hajj Scheme 2023 on April 1, 2023. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The government will provide all possible facilities to the pilgrims intending to perform Hajj this year, vowed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday.

The finance minister made the remarks while chairing a meeting to review progress on Hajj Scheme 2023 in Islamabad.

“Hajj is a sacred religious obligation and the government will facilitate the Hujjaj in every possible manner,” said the finance minister.

The secretary of the religious affairs ministry informed the meeting that receipt of applications for the Hajj-2023 was closed on the 31st of last month as per the government’s policy.

It was also informed that 72,869 applications had been received in the banks against the quota of 44,190 of the government’s regular scheme.

The religious ministry also provided details about its foreign exchange required for the Hajj 2023. The finance minister directed the concerned authorities to collect complete and fully reconciled information regarding the final number of applications under the regular scheme from the banks by Tuesday.

‘Banks to remain open on Sunday’

In a bid to facilitate the intending pilgrims, the designated branches of all commercial banks will remain open on Sunday (tomorrow) from 9 am to 2 pm to collect Hajj applications.

The government has extended the Hajj Sponsorship Scheme till next Friday (April 7), whereas the date for receiving applications under the regular Hajj scheme has ended.

According to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, the decision to extend the date for Hajj Sponsorship Scheme has been taken due to difficulties faced by overseas Pakistanis in transferring funds for the purpose.

It is pertinent to mention that all applicants under Sponsorship Hajj Scheme will be declared successful without balloting.

The Ministry advised the Hajj applicants to remain in touch with the designated banks for further information and processes.

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