|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Income tax payers eligible for Haj subsidy
October 20, 2004 23:02 IST
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday dropped the controversial condition laid by previous government to exempt income tax payers from subsidised Haj travel.
At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Cabinet cleared all 82,000 applications received this year for Haj travel. "We decided to clear all the applications. The subsidy would be the same as that of last year," Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
The Cabinet also cleared proposals to add Guwahati and Aurangabad as embarkation points for Haj 2005. Also, Gaya has been substituted with Patna as an embarkation point . The other places include Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Calicut, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur and Srinagar.
Pilgrims have to pay Rs 12,000 for the round trip to Jeddah, with the remaining cost being borne by the government.
It was also decided to release an estimated amount of Rs 75.77 crore to airlines to settle their outstanding dues for the year 2001-04.
More reports from Delhi
Read about: Assembly Election 2003 | Attack on Parliament