No subsidy for Haj will be given from this year, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday.

Mr. Naqvi informed reporters that despite of no subsidy, a record number of 1.75 lakh Muslims will undertake the pilgrimage this year from India. “This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Mr. Naqvi told reporters.

Mr. Naqvi also told that the Saudi Arabian government has in-principle agreed to allow Haj journey from India by ships and officials of the two countries will sit together to finalise the modalities.

Last year, Mr. Naqvi had said that the Centre would abolish the subsidy for Haj pilgrims in accordance with a Supreme Court order.

“A Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court had, during the Congress regime in 2012, directed that the Haj subsidy be done away with. Hence, in the new policy, as per the recommendations of a committee, we have decided to do away with the Haj subsidy gradually,” he had said.

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