In the name of subsidy, government is benefitting Air India, says Anjuman Islamiya leader

City based voluntary organisation Anjuman Islamiya has hailed Supreme Court judgment to phase out subsidy on Haj pilgrimage in the next ten years.

At a press conference here on Thursday, Anjuman Islamiya general secretary Sheik Ahmed Basha said that the Haj subsidy is something that is best done away with. It does not benefit the pilgrims. In the name of giving subsidy, the Government has been fooling people till now, for, it has been benefiting the Air India.

Airfare

The airfare would not be more than Rs.20,000 on normal days. But, the Air India charges Rs.60,000 to Rs.70,000 per person during Haj pilgrimage. The subsidy was going into its coffers, and beneficial to Muslims. Instead, the subsidy money may be more profitably used for uplift of the community in education and other indices of social development.

The government's claim of Rs.600 crore Haj subsidy could be invested in education for Muslim girls, he said.

Mr. Basha said that the Muslims used to go on Haj pilgrimage on ship before the Government launched subsidy scheme in air ticket. The ship voyage was cancelled. The Muslims used to incur not more than Rs.10,000 to travel in the (Akbar oda) ship. Now, it would not cross Rs.40,000. As the subsidy is being phased out, the Government should re-introduce the ship voyage.

The Government should also talk to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia governments so that the Haj pilgrims could take road route also, he added.

Anjuman Islamiya president Syyed Moiddin, organising secretary Sheik Abdul Rehman, Syyed Kalimulla, Moulana Ibrahim Ali, Chote Khan, Sheik Fayaz and others spoke.

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