Formula to iron out Haj quotas | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Formula to iron out Haj quotas

The ministry of external affairs has worked out a formula to bring transparency to discretionary quota in Haj allocations, which has been plagued by allegations of various kinds. For the first time, a waiting list is also being introduced for Haj this year.

delhi Updated: Sep 19, 2010 01:22 IST
Jayanth Jacob

The ministry of external affairs has worked out a formula to bring transparency to discretionary quota in Haj allocations, which has been plagued by allegations of various kinds. For the first time, a waiting list is also being introduced for Haj this year.

Over 5,000 seats are disbursed through discretionary quota, which is up for lobbying from cabinet ministers, legislators, politicians and the rest who forward requests. Some 1.6 lakh people will go for Haj from India this time.

The ministry has come up with a calculation fixing the number of applications each of these categories can forward to it. The ministry will, in turn, distribute them based on availability.

Accordingly, a cabinet minister will have a quota sealing of 30 seats—and 40 if he is a Muslim. For ministers of state it is 20 and 25. State chief ministers have a sealing of 10. Lok Sabha MPs can recommend five and a Muslim MP eight.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has decided on a separate category for pilgrims hailing from economically weak sections. Ministers get many such applications from various areas, especially from his home state of Karnataka.

He will recommend a few such cases—up to 50. One hundred discretionary seats can be used by the chairman as well as the vice-chairman of Rajya Sabha, an official said.

Instructions have been given to officials to ensure that no undue favouritism is shown to Krishna’s state, Karnataka. The waiting list will be used in case of last-moment cancellations. There had been complaints about officials selling such vacancies.

There is also provision to provide food for pilgrims in delayed flights.