Union Minority Affairs Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has assured that the Central Government is committed to provide the best services and facilities to Haj pilgrims.

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Chairing the meeting of All India Haj Umrah Tour Organisers Association in Mumbai today Mr. Naqvi said that the steps to provide the best services and facilities to Haj pilgrims includes preparing a film providing all necessary information for pilgrims and encouraging online application for the pilgrimage.

The Minister said that along with Haj Committee of India, private tour operators have also an important role to play during Haj and the Ministry is ready to extend all possible help and guidance to private tour operators to ensure smooth Haj.

Mr. Naqvi said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been encouraging online applications for next Haj, so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency.

During Haj 2016, about 45,843 people had applied for Haj online which is about 11 per cent of total applications received from across the nation for Haj. Approximately 1 lakh people went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Haj from 21 embarkation points across India through Haj Committee of India during Haj 2016, while 36,000 Haj pilgrims availed at the services of private tour operators.

Mr. Naqvi said “Government of Saudi Arabia had cooperated a lot which ensured smooth Haj 2016. We have started discussion with Government of Saudi Arabia and Haj related agencies in India on the suggestions received from across the nation”, he added.

Representatives of six government recognised private tour operators associations participated in this meeting. These associations represent about 595 private tour operators. The process regarding Haj and Umrah through private tour operators will be made easier so that these operators can also help thousands of Haj pilgrims.

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