This Article is From May 22, 2012

Kerala to formulate stand on Haj subsidy

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government would convene a meeting of Muslim religious organisations in the state to elicit their views on the recent Supreme Court direction to the Centre to phase out Haj subsidy, according to Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty.

The meeting is being held to formulate the Government's stand on Haj subsidy, which in turn would be conveyed to the Supreme Court, Mr Kunhalkutty, who also holds Wakf affairs portfolio, told PTI.

He said that the Central Haj Committee had not yet formulated its stand on the issue.

Mr Kunhalikutty said that Kerala wanted its Haj quota to be enhanced, considering the huge increase in applicants for travelling to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage.

"We have already taken up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs. Though we have not received any assurance so far, we hope that the Centre would consider our plea positively," he added.

On May 8, the Supreme Court had directed the government to phase out Haj subsidy within a period of 10 years, saying that this amount can be more profitably used for social and educational development of the Muslim community.