Saudi Arabia increases India’s hajj quota by 5,000

In a second hike in two years, Saudi Arabia has increased India’s Hajj quota by 5,000 to make the number of pilgrims who can perform the holy pilgrimage from the country to 1,75,025 said Abbas Naqvi, India’s Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar, on Tuesday.

The decision by the Kingdom came days after the Minister signed a bilateral annual agreement for Hajj 2018 with Saudi Minister for Hajj and Umrah Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

Naqvi claimed that the increase over the past two years — of nearly 40,000 — is a “record expansion” since 1947.

The increase in India’s quota will be effective from Hajj to be held later this year. In 2017, the Hajj quota was 1,70,025 which includes then increased 35000 quota by the Saudi government.

The Kingdom has also given a nod to India’s decision to revive the option of sending Hajj pilgrims by sea which was very much in practice in the early days of the pilgrimage. Authorities of both countries will soon discuss the necessary formalities and technicalities in this regard.

About 3.55 lakh applications have been received for Hajj 2018. The Hajj Committee of India will finalise the names of those who can go this year for Hajj through a lucky draw.