$10m cut announced in hajj pilgrimage cost
KABUL (Pajhwok): Vowing to provide all possible facilities to Afghan hajj pilgrims, the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs on Thursday said a $10 million cut in airfare and other expenses had been made for the holy journey to Saudi Arabia.
Hajj and Religious Affairs Minister Faiz Mohammad Osmani said this year 24,000 Afghans would travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the pilgrimage. He said the pilgrims would be provided with better healthcare, transport and accommodation facilities in the kingdom.
Speaking to journalists in Kabul about his month-long visit to Saudi Arabia, Osmani said 12,000 pilgrims would be flown from Kabul directly to Medina and 12,000 more to Jeddah.
He added 24 buildings at walking-distance to the Haram Sharif had been rented for pilgrims.
Osmani said $3 million concession had been made in general expenses in Saudi Arabia and $7 million in transport, reducing each pilgrim’s expenses from $2,700 to $2,450 this year.
The minister said some 2,000 electronic passports were ready to be distributed to the pilgrims and another 4,000 would be ready soon.
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