The Aditya Nath ‘Yogi’ government in Uttar Pradesh plans to link the Haj applications with the Aadhaar numbers of the applicants to usher in transparency in the selection of pilgrims. The entire process is likely to be made online.
These steps are likely to help in identifying those who have availed government subsidy for the pilgrimage more than once.
“The government wants to bring in greater transparency. It aims to send more and more economically weaker people on Haj,” minister of state for Haj Mohsin Raza told Hindustan Times on Sunday.
The Centre provides subsidy to Muslim pilgrims for Haj. Every state has its Haj quota.
“UP’s Haj quota at present is 29,000 pilgrims,” Raza said.
He also said, “We understand that sometimes individuals avail subsidies more than once. Linking the application with Aadhar number and transferring subsidy to the Aadhar linked bank account will check this. The proposed online application process will bring in greater transparency.”
The government believes that this will ensure that all government-sponsored individuals who go on Haj become genuine beneficiaries of the government scheme.
Raza also said he has begun appealing to those pilgrims, who can afford to go on Haj on their own, not to apply for subsidy.
The minister seems to have taken the cue from the Modi government’s programme of making the affluent give up subsidy on LPG cylinders in favour of the poor.
“This will help the government send on Haj more and more such people who cannot go on their own,” said Raza.
The minister was in his hometown Safipur, Unnao, on Sunday to attend several programmes.
The BJP did not field any Muslim candidate in the 2017 polls, but Raza was appointed minister. He is not a member of either house of the state legislature. He has six months to become a lawmaker either by contesting an assembly by-election or being elected an MLC (member of legislative council).