ISLAMABAD: Hajj 2018 would likely to get more costly, as Saudi Arabia government has imposed 5% tax on Hajj services and denied to allocate additional Hajj quota to Pakistan.
The credible sources have claimed that the Saudi government has informed the officials of Ministry of Religious Affairs regarding imposition tax and additional quota.
Sources said that 5% services tax was imposed on pilgrims for using transport, residence and other services in Saudi Arabia. As many as 179210 Pakistanis are visiting Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj through private and government Hajj schemes this year.
According to new Hajj policy private Hajj quota reduced to 33%, against which private hajj tour operators moved to different courts of the country.
Sources further started that Pakistan has asked Saudi officials for allocating Hajj quota according new census, so that government can allocate more quota to private Hajj tour operators, but Saudi government had denied allocating more quota due to lack of capacity in mina and situation occurred last year in mina.
Pakistani officials have also informed Saudi officials of starting bio-metric system in Pakistan and requested to exempt bio-metric verification on Saudi airports.
It was feared that effects of tax imposition and decrease in the value of rupee will be a costly pilgrimage. Ministry of religious affairs has already assured to bear the extra expenses. Private Hajj tour operators said new Saudi taxes will affect them more.