Haj Applications Lag Behind as Deadline Approaches
With only one week left until the deadline for Haj applications under the government scheme, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has expressed concern about the low number of applications received so far.
The government's Haj quota for 2024 is 89,605, out of which 25,000 places are allocated to the sponsorship scheme. However, in the five days from November 27 to December 5, only 12,600 applications were received.
Of these applications, 800 were for the sponsorship scheme and the remaining 11,800 were for the regular scheme. In previous years, there has always been a surge in applications in the initial phase, but this year the numbers have been disappointingly low.
Ministry officials are concerned that the target for the sponsorship scheme may not be met, and even the overall quota may not be filled. They attribute the low demand to inflation and the fact that Haj is scheduled for June, which is six months earlier than usual.
The ministry had sought early applications to streamline Haj arrangements, but the response has been l