Days after the Telangana State Haj Committee announced cancellation of Haj this year, the Haj Umrah Group Organisers’ Association said that they had suffered a crushing loss and appealed to the Ministry of Minority Affairs to remove turnover as a criteria for pilgrim quotas.

Speaking to the media, association president Abdul Razzak explained that depending on the turnover of each private tour operator (PTO), the Ministry allots a category.

For instance, PTOs with a turnover of more than ₹5 crore per year with 12 or more licences is categorised as Star 1. Similarly, for those to be classified as Category 1 PTOs, the requirement is a turnover of ₹3 crore per year and at least seven licences. And for Category 2, the criteria is a turnover of ₹1 crore and at least one licence.

“The pandemic resulted in no business. So, turnover should not be considered as a criteria for deciding category of PTOs,” Mr. Razzak said. In line with the TSHC announcement, PTOs too will refund the amount that they received from potential Haj pilgrims, and without any deductions. The association has asked all PTOs to refund all deposits which they have received from those who wished to make the pilgrimage.

Meanwhile, the association has asked the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to treat their request sympathetically.

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