Cut in Haj quota to hit private tour operators
With Saudi Arabia slashing the Haj quota by 20 per cent for all foreign pilgrims this year, the Indian government yesterday decided to reduce the Haj seats of private tour operators
As per the India-Saudi Arabia bilateral agreement on Haj 2013, inked on March 16 in Jeddah, the quota for India was fixed at 170,025 seats -- comprising 125,025 seats for the HCOI, Mumbai, and 45,000 for pilgrims going through private tour operators (PTOs). But in June, Saudi authorities announced a 50 per cent cut in quota on local Saudi applicants and 20 per cent on foreign pilgrims.
India conveyed its concern to the Saudi authorities and sought a reconsideration of the decision. But on June 21, the Saudi government conveyed its inability to accede to the Indian request.