In light of the severe shortage of US dollars and the collapse of the economy, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony reportedly boosted the special allocation for pilgrims who pay in US dollars in the Government Hajj Plan 2023 to 50%.
This quota is only available to pilgrims who will pay in US dollars. Banks have refused to provide new letters of credit (LCs) to importers due to the lack of US currency, further harming an economy already beset by soaring inflation.
The ministry first set aside a 25% Hajj quota for pilgrims who would pay in US currency last week. The Finance Ministry, however, was unable to contribute $2 billion to cover Hajj expenses, therefore the authorities were compelled to change their original plan. In order to convince him to release the funds, ministry representatives plan to speak with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
The Hajj Policy 2023 will be finished next week and presented to the federal cabinet for approval, which should take 8 to 10 days. The Ministry has already increased the Hajj quota for private enterprises from 40 percent to 50 percent, with the prospect of further increases, in anticipation of a protracted foreign exchange liquidity deficit.
According to estimates, each visitor under the government proposal would be charged Rs. 1.1 million; but, if the value of the rupee continues to decline, this cost might increase to Rs. 1.3 million.
The Hajj tax will also increase from 18% to 20%, according to the Saudi authorities.