Following the Supreme Court judgment of 2012 for scrapping the Haj Subsidy. The Central Government on tuesday 16th January scrapped off the Haj Subsidy.
Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi confirmed that the Haj subsidy has been withdrawn.
“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi
WHAT IS HAJ SUBSIDY?
The Haj subsidy is a subsidy given to Indian Muslim Hajj pilgrims by the Government of India in form of discounted Air fares on Indian Government owned Air India.
SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT
In May 2012, the Supreme Court of India bench, comprising of Altamas Kabir and Ranjana Desai, ordered the government to end the practice by 2022.
“We direct the Central government to progressively reduce the amount of subsidy so as to completely eliminate it within a period of 10 years from today” said a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana P Desai. ” The court said it has no authority to speak on the minority community’s behalf and that it would be presumptuous to tell the Muslims what was a good or bad religious practice even though it cited Quran to say that haj pilgrimage was mandatory only for those who could afford the expenses for traveling, food and accommodation.
A committee was framed to draft policy for haj subsidy for the year 2018-22. The policy aims at rationalising distribution of the Haj quota between the Haj Committee of India and private tour operators in the ratio of 70:30 for the next five years. It also stresses on breaking the cartel of contractors with a transparent bidding process.
Naqvi further told the reporters that the subsidy will now be utilized in education and empowerment of children.