Hajj 2023: Center scraps VIP quota for Haj pilgrimage

The VIP quota for pilgrims to the Hajj 2023 was eliminated by the central government on Wednesday. Now, the VIP pilgrims must travel with regular Hajj pilgrims. The Prime Minister, President, Vice President, Minority Ministers, and Indian Haj Committee’s VIP quotas have been revoked. 500 seats are now set aside for VIPs.

A recent agreement between the government and Saudi Arabia for Hajj 2023 said that more than 1,75,000 Indian pilgrims would be permitted to make the yearly pilgrimage.

“For Haj 2023, the Government of India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed a bilateral agreement.

Read Also: Mecca : A holy city where Muslims are eager to perform Hajj

This year, 175025 Indian pilgrims will make the Hajj, “said Er Aijaz Hussain, a member of the Haj Committee of India (HCoI).

Nearly two lakh Indian pilgrims will undertake this sacrificial pilgrimage for the first time.

As of now, India had the most quota, with 1.4 lakh pilgrims making the holy journey in 2019. 

The amount fell to 1.25 lakh the following year. 

However, the 2020 Hajj was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

79,237 Indian pilgrims arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2022 to perform the Hajj.

The total number of pilgrims reached 899,353 in 2022, consisting of 119,434 domestic pilgrims and 779,919 foreign pilgrims.

The 2022 Hajj season was successful, according to Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel, since there were no serious public health issues or disease outbreaks.

Only 38 Covid-19 cases, according to him, were found in the holy sites and were all handled in accordance with medical guidelines.

For those Muslims who are physically able and financially able to do so, doing the Hajj is regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime obligation.

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