Banks to start receiving Hajj requests from 5th
04 March, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The designated branches of banks will start receiving Hajj applications of the government scheme from Tuesday, March 5, on first come, first served basis.
According to an official, the banks have been directed to stop the process on the receipt of 89,605 applications. The applicants have been directed to write down the time and date while depositing their application forms to avoid any complication. The intending pilgrims must also write their machine-readable passport number or receipt number of the passport office along with the Hajj applications.
The official said the applicants must opt for one category, Blue, Green or White, while filling the Hajj form. Blue category pilgrims intending to leave from Karachi, Quetta or Sukkur will have to deposit Rs 411,070 each. Meanwhile, those planning to leave from Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan , Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad and Sialkot will have to deposit Rs 421,070 along with the application.
Likewise, the Green category intending pilgrims from Karachi, Quetta and Sukkur will have to deposit Rs 351,070 each. The pilgrims intending to leave from Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad and Sialkot will have to deposit Rs 361,070 along with the application.
Meanwhile, the White category intending pilgrims from Karachi, Quetta and Sukkur will have to deposit Rs 285,070. And the people who intend to leave from Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan, Faisalabad and Sialkot will deposit Rs 295,070 along with the application. The applicants must deposit seven photos having blue background. Only designated medical officers are eligible to issue medical certificates to the applicants.
The official said any person who has performed Hajj during the last five years would not be eligible to perform the obligation this year, except a mehram, group leader or the one undertaking Hajj-e-badal. The size of the group must be from two to 25 persons, while the age of the group leader must be from 40 to 60 years, he said. The applications can be deposited in the branches of National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank of Pakistan, United Bank Limited, Allied Bank of Pakistan, Habib Metropolitan Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, First Women Bank, Bank of Punjab and Sindh Bank.
The applicants must have computerised national identity cards (CNIC). The official further said that this year 89,605 Pakistanis would perform Hajj under private scheme. Intending pilgrims must ink an agreement with the Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) after seeing their registration letter issued by the ministry. They must check the Hajj quota issued to the HGOs by the ministry.
A total of 179,210 Pakistanis will perform Hajj during the current year. Half of them would perform Hajj under the government scheme, and the rest under the private scheme. The government scheme intending pilgrims have been divided into three categories: Blue (within 900 meters from Haram Sharif without transport), Green (within 2000 meters with transport) and White category (beyond 2000 meters with transport). Responding to a question, the official said the main reason behind increased Hajj expenditure was the hike in petroleum prices, appreciation in value of the Saudi riyal (SR) and increased rent of buildings.