India’s quota for the Haj this year has been fixed at 136,020 pilgrims, according to an agreement signed with Saudi Arabia.
A total of 100,020 pilgrims will come through the Haj Committee of India and the remainder through private tour operators.
The agreement on the Haj quota was signed during a high-level Indian delegation’s visit to Jeddah on Thursday, Arab News reported on Friday.
Saudi Arabia has reduced the Haj quota for all countries by 20% and for Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council pilgrims by 50% because of the ongoing expansion of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
The Indian delegation was led by minister of state for external affairs Gen VK Singh and included ambassador Ahmad Javed, consul general BS Mubarak, joint secretary Rakesh Mohan of the minority affairs ministry and Haj Committee chief executive officer Ataur Rahman.
The Indian officials held talks with Saudi Haj minister Bandar Hajjar, deputy minister for transportation Mohammed Simsim and Prince Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Saa’d Al-Saud, the deputy interior minister.
The two sides discussed various Haj-related issues, including better catering for pilgrims. They also agreed to work and coordinate closely for this year’s pilgrimage.