Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said the government saved Rs5 billlion in the expenses of hotel and transport during the Hajj operations of this year.
Speaking at a ceremony in Lahore, he said the government is returning the money to pilgrims which was saved in the expenses of hotels and transport.
“Owing to increase in expenses of Hajj, it was expected that the number of applications would be less, however, banks received record Hajj applictions,” he said.
The minister said from the next year, the facility of Road to Makkah project will be extended to Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and other airports.
The number of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims from Pakistan is the highest in comparison to the entire world.
Two days earlier, the spokesman of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said in a statement, 129,000 pilgrims including 93,000 of government and 36,000 of the private scheme have so far reached the holy land to perform the sacred religious obligation. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would bring 78,000 pilgrims to holy land through 350 flights.
He said vigilance teams of the ministry have completed the monitoring of 336 Hajj Group Organisers (HGO).
Haram guides have already guided and facilitated over 66,000 pilgrims. The toll-free helplines have received 552 calls for guidance and help and 12 filed dispensaries were working to provide free medical facilities to intending pilgrims.