Mumbai, 24th Oct, 2016: Press release regarding inaugurating meeting of Haj Committee of India and States/UTs Haj committees in Mumbai

Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) & Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said here that the Central Government has been encouraging online applications for next Haj so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency. 
While inaugurating a meeting of Haj Committee of India and states/UTs Haj committees in Mumbai’s Haj House, Shri Naqvi said that during Haj 2016, about 45,843 people had applied for Haj online which was about 11 per cent of total applications received from across the nation for Haj. 
Maharashtra was at top place regarding online applications for Haj 2016 with a total of 10,960 people applied online. 9257 online applications had been received from Kerala; 5407 from Uttar Pradesh; 2983 from Telangana; 2426 from Jammu and Kashmir and 2425 online applications had been received from Gujarat. 
Shri Naqvi said that we have been making efforts to make the process of online application simple and easy so that more and more people can apply online for next Haj pilgrimage. 
About 99,903 people went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Haj from 21 embarkation points across India through Haj Committee of India during Haj 2016. Apart from this, about 36,000 Haj pilgrims had proceeded for Haj through the private tour operators.
Shri Naqvi said that during last Haj, Ministry of Minority Affairs had sent a team of officials to the two holy cities in Saudi Arabia to take stock of arrangements for the pilgrims. The Centre is committed to provide best facilities to pilgrims and making their pilgrimage comfortable. We have written to Chief Ministers of all the states and MPs last week to give suggestions regarding Haj. 
Shri Naqvi said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has already started preparations to make arrangements for next Haj. Haj Committee of India and state Haj committees should chalk out a strategy to ensure that pilgrims do not face any problem at Makkah and Madina. 
Shri Naqvi said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has been preparing a 10-15 minutes duration film which will provide all the necessary information to Haj pilgrims. This film will be shown to pilgrims at training camps to be organised for pilgrims. Our Ministry has been making all out efforts to ensure smooth Haj pilgrimage next time also. 
Shri Naqvi said that Government of Saudi Arabia had cooperated a lot which ensured smooth Haj 2016. We have started discussion with Government of Saudi Arabia and Haj related agencies in India on the suggestions received from across the nation. 
Shri Naqvi said that the state Haj committees should make the people aware about “Dos and Don’ts” regarding Haj and their journey so that they don’t face any trouble during the pilgrimage. Shri Naqvi said that the people going for Haj should follow all the rules and regulations of the Government of Saudi Arabia regarding security, accommodation and transportation etc so that they can also cooperate with the Saudi Arabia Government for smooth pilgrimage.