Need for system on Haj pilgrimage: Khurshid

New Delhi: Government today said there was a need to establish a system in the country under which people should go for Haj pilgrimage with their own resources. "The government had decided four years back after consultations with common people and ulema…A lot of people felt that Haj is compulsory only for those people who can go on this pilgrimage with their own money," Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid told reporters here.

"There is no role of subsidy, a lot of people have expressed this. Even otherwise, the subsidy is given to airlines while a single community is blamed for it," he said. Khurshid said that the system for Haj pilgrimage should be established in such a way that people could go there with their own resources and at the right price. "The new arrangement should be such where there is no subsidy and Haj is possible at the right price and people can go to Haj with their own resources and money, the people have said. Even the Supreme Court had something on similar lines," he sais.

"People had wanted to move ahead in the direction that the Supreme Court has suggested," Khurshid, who was speaking on the sidelines of a conference on Haj management, said. Khurshid was apparently referring to the Supreme Court order which had directed that the government should phase out the Haj subsidy.

The Minister said that the formation of a Haj corporation was an idea which had been floated and it would be discussed. He also said that though the Supreme Court had not given a stay on the Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment which had set aside the 4.5 per cent job reservation for minorities, the matter would be heard in detail by the apex court.