ISLAMABAD: The Caretaker Federal Cabinet of Pakistan on Wednesday approved amendments in the Hajj Policy 2024, under which children below 10 years of age will also be eligible to perform Hajj.
The Federal Cabinet, which met in Islamabad on Wednesday, with Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in the chair, also decided to return the un-availed quota of government and private Hajj Schemes to Saudi Arabia’s Government. Besides, a foolproof monitoring system, as per the laws of Saudi Arabia, will be in place to regulate the financial matters of Hajj group organizers.
Flexibility will be allowed with regard to the condition for Hajj Scheme pilgrims over eighty years of age. However, the private Group Organizer will sign a deal with the pilgrims to hire local attendants during their stay in Saudi Arabia. This very point will be included in the deal for the provision of services, and Hajj Group Organizers found violating this will be fined and blacklisted.
The Cabinet also greenlit the reduction in the hardship Hajj quota. It was decided that 50% of local moavineen would comprise Pakistani students studying in Saudi Arabia’s universities, and their appointment would be made as welfare staff.
It is to be noted that the Federal Cabinet, in its previous meeting, had formed a committee to further improve the Hajj Policy 2024, and new amendments have been brought in light of the recommendations of the committee.
Other Decisions in Cabinet Meeting
The Cabinet allowed the imposition of a 40% tax on the windfall profit of banks earned during 2021 and 2022. The meeting approved the inclusion of Malawi, Zambia, Congo, Zimbabwe, and Kyrgyzstan in the business visa list.
Placing 9 people on the Exit Control List (ECL) and deleting eighteen others from the ECL was also approved.
The Cabinet approved a budget of Rs267.59 million for the Jammu and Kashmir State property for the current financial year. It instructed the preparation of draft insurance of accession with regard to the ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention 2009 to ensure environment-friendly and safe recycling of ships.