Hajj 2021 depends on Covid situation, Saudi & Indian government guidelines: Naqvi
After the complete review of the Coronavirus situation and its impact, the health and safety of the people, the Saudi and Indian governments’ guidelines, the final decision on Hajj 2021 will be taken giving priority to the guidelines.
New Delhi: Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Monday that the Hajj 2021 would depend on the guidelines of national and international protocols in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic.
He said that Hajj Committee of India, other Indian agencies would soon start receiving applications for Haj 2021 and other preparations would be commenced. A formal announcement shall be made by the Saudi Arabia government regarding the application and other procedures after the decision is taken regarding Hajj 2021.
Mr. Naqvi, while presiding over the review meeting regarding Hajj 2021, said that Hajj 2021 is to be conducted in the month of June-July. However, after the complete review of the Coronavirus situation and its impact, the health and safety of the people, the Saudi and Indian governments’ guidelines, the final decision on Hajj 2021 will be taken giving priority to the guidelines.
In the Hajj 2021 review meeting, Secretary of the Ministry of Minority Affairs P. K. Das and other senior officials, Vipul, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, SK Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation were also present.
Moreover, India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Saeed, Acting Consul General of India in Jeddah Y Sabir, CEO of Haj Committee of India M. A. Officials from the Department of Mines and Health, Air India, etc. joined the meeting through video conferencing.
Major changes in arrangements
Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that in view of the guidelines Covdi-19, major changes may take place in the Hajj arrangements. These include accommodation, transport, health and others in India as well as in Saudi Arabia.
He said that the health and safety of Hajj pilgrims due to Coronavirus would be on top priority of the government. The Government of India and other concerned agencies will make necessary arrangements in this regard. The government and the Hajj Committee have started necessary action for this.
Mr. Naqvi said that the result of 100% digital Hajj system of India is that Rs. 2100 crore of one lakh 23 thousand people who could not go for Hajj 2020 due to Coronavirus outbreak were returned through DBT without any deduction. Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian government has also reimbursed about Rs 100 crore for Hajj passenger traffic for the year 2018-19.
Mr. Naqvi said that about 514 crore more amount of Hajj pilgrims has also been refunded in the situation of Covid outbreak. The result of 100% digital Hajj system in India is that the amount was credited directly to the accounts even in times of disaster which is the first time in the history of the Hajj process.