Panel to ensure Hajj Caravans charge affordable prices: Awqaf

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KUWAIT CITY, March 10: Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Fahad Al-Afasi announced setting up the Hajj Caravans Price Control and Monitoring Committee to ensure that prices charged by the caravans are affordable.

The minister said the Higher Committee on Hajj and Umrah decided to set up the Hajj Caravans Price Control and Monitoring Committee, chaired by the Director of Hajj Affairs, with members drafted from relevant authorities.

He noted the step taken will foreclose the idea of exploiting pilgrims such that prices will be within the reach of intending pilgrims. He stated the committee has been authorized to carry out necessary procedures toward approving prices of Hajj based on services and estimated costs. He indicated the calculation will be appropriate to the reality on the ground and categories of hotel or private building accommodation systems. He explained the committee will do a thorough study to ensure that caravan operators and pilgrims are fairly treated.

Several Hajj caravan operators who preferred anonymity expressed surprise over setting up of the committee. They said the prices of their services depend on Saudi market, which continues to rise steadily. They noted some countries provide subsidy for pilgrims performing the Hajj rites for the first time by paying for their spaces in Muzdalifah, Arafat and Mona. They stated Hajj prices range from KD 700-KD 2,000 based on factors the ministry cannot control, noting the committee can only play a reassurance role and nothing more.

By Abdul-Nasser Al-Aslami Al-Seyassah staff

This news has been read 10666 times!

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