Andhra Pradesh Govt Hikes Financial Aid to Haj and Jerusalem Pilgrims
The government decided to increase financial aid from Rs.40,000 to Rs.60,000, for those whose annual income is below Rs 3 lakh. Those with incomes above Rs 3 lakh, will get Rs 30,000.
File photo of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Amaravathi: The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government in Andhra Pradesh has decided to increase financial aid to Haj and Jerusalem pilgrims in the state in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The decision will affect Muslims travelling to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform Haj and Christians visiting different holy places in Jerusalem every year. After being elected in the state in the recent Assembly elections, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy also visited Jerusalem with his family members.
According to the move, the government decided to increase financial aid from Rs.40,000 to Rs.60,000, for those whose annual income is below Rs 3 lakh. Pilgrims whose annual income is above Rs 3 lakh will get Rs 30,000 as opposed to the Rs.20,000 guaranteed under the existing scheme.
The State Government will also allocate a budget of Rs.14.22 crore for the pilgrimages.
Meanwhile, Narendra Modi-led government in the Centre discontinued subsidies to Haj pilgrims and instead directed the funds toward the empowerment of minority women.
The ruling YSR Congress Party in the state has a strong sway over minority communities, especially Muslims and Christians. According to the party’s leaders, the minorities had played a vital role getting them elected in the state.
Thus CM Jagan Mohan Reddy also decided to give a monthly allowance of Rs. 5000 to Imams and pastors. The government had recently also allocated 50% quota for Muslims in all nominated Posts along with OBC, SC, ST communities.
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