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Pranab calls upon states to expedite constitution of Haj committees
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Pranab calls upon states to expedite constitution of Haj committees

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today urged the states to expedite the formation of State Haj Committees in accordance with the provisions of the Haj Committee Act 2002.

New Delhi, May 11 : External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today urged the states to expedite the formation of State Haj Committees in accordance with the provisions of the Haj Committee Act 2002.

Inaugurating the All India Annual Conference for Haj 2007, here today, Mukherjee said this delay was proving as a bottle-neck to streamlining Haj Management in the country.

"I take this opportunity to flag an important area of concern that is proving as a bottle-neck to streamlining Haj Management in India. This is the delay in the formation of State Haj Committees by some States in accordance with the provisions of the Haj Committee Act 2002. I would like to urge all those States who have so far not constituted their State Haj Committees to do so expeditiously," he said.

Pointing out that for millions of Muslims all over the world, including from India, pilgrimage to the Holy places of Makkah and Madinah is a cherished life-long dream, he said the Centre was committed to ensure that the best possible arrangements were put in place for the comfort and well being of Indian pilgrims.

"The Government would continue to depute in sufficient numbers, administrative, para-medical and medical personnel to look after and assist the Indian pilgrims during their stay in Saudi Arabia. Sufficient medicines and other critical medical equipment would also be made available to our doctors for helping the Indian pilgrims," he added.

He went on to say the government was making all efforts to ensure that private tour operators who take pilgrims to Haj provide proper services and facilities for the pilgrims.

"It is a matter of great pride for us that one of the largest contingent of Haj pilgrims in the world goes from India. I am glad to learn that over 1,50,000 Indian pilgrims performed the Haj last year, which is an all-time record," he said.

Mukherjee added that the Centre has constituted two committees to recommend ways and means to improve management of Haj pilgrims from India and to study measures to look into the reforms of the existing system of management of Haj pilgrimage.

He said both the committees have held several rounds of discussions and their recommendations will help the government in further improving Haj Management.

ANI

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