Senate body seeks early finalisation of Ruet-i-Hilal Committee draft law

ISLAMABAD:Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Tuesday directed the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony to submit report of the action taken against Hajj Group Organisers on looting people in name of sending them for Hajj.

The meeting of the committee, chaired by Senator Hafiz Hamdullah directed the ministry to take strict action against the HGOs involved in looting the people during the recent Hajj season.

Talking about negative propaganda about recently concluded Hajj operation, Hafiz Hamdullah said existing enrolled Hajj Group Organisers (HGOs) mafia was behind the vilification campaign against Government Hajj Scheme to prove wrong the reduction of their hajj quota from 50 of total Pakistani Hujjaj sent to Saudia percent to 40 percent of total hujjaj.

Hamdullah directed the ministry to enroll new HGOs for ensuring healthy competition and introducing cheap hajj packages.

Briefing the Committee State Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Amin-ul-Hasnaat Shah said the ministry has suspended both new and old enrolled HGOs and hiring the services of Chartered Accountant firms for conducting scrutiny of HGOs.

The committee directed the ministry to finalise draft law of constituting new Ruet-i-Hilal Committee by next Tuesday.

He said the members of Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee including chairman should be enhanced to 15. Likewise, the members of Provincial and District Ruet-i-Hilal Committees including chairmen should be 13 and nine respectively. The Chairman of Central Ruet-i- Hilal Committee should be a qualified person having at least 20 years experience of teaching followed by 15 years experience for heading Provincial Ruet-i-Hilal Committees and 10 years experience for heading District Ruet-i-Hilal Committees.

Committee sought last four year’s lists of the persons sent to Saudi Arabia by Ministry as Muavineen, members of Hajj Medical Mission. The committee also sought four years details of the expenditures incurred by the ministry on hosting minority functions including Holi, Devali, etc.