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CM welcomes reduction in Hajj fares

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Srinagar, Feb 28: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today welcomed the Centre's decision to slash airfare for Hajj pilgrimage this year.

The reduction, announced by the Union Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi yesterday, will be applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas, an air carrier based in Saudi Arabia, to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India.

Thanking the Centre, particularly Prime Minister, Narendra Modi for the decision, the Chief Minister said the move would balance the cost escalation due to withdrawal of subsidy early this year.

"I welcome the decision of the central government and thank @narendramodi ji for substantially reducing the airfare for Hajj pilgrims from India from this year," Mehbooba tweeted.

The Chief Minister said this will help many more Muslims "experience the holy pilgrimage to Kaaba".

Notably, the Central government in January had abolished subsidies given to those on the pilgrimage in view of a 2012 Supreme Court order.

The slash in airfare ranges from Rs 20,000 to Rs 97,000 and Hajj pilgrims from Srinagar embarkation point would be the biggest beneficiaries of this decision.

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