New Delhi: Haj pilgrims may have to shell
out more for their airfare to-and-from Mecca as the government
has proposed to increase their share of the ticket price by Rs
4,000 to reduce its subsidy burden.
"The government has proposed to increase the pilgrim`s
share of the fare by Rs 4,000 each year to Rs 16,000 to reduce
the subsidy burden," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said
in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
"At present, pilgrims performing Haj through the Haj
Committee of India have been paying Rs 12,000 as to-and-fro
fare since 1994," he said, adding that the additional travel
cost is borne by the government.
Responding to a query on whether private airlines can be
asked to share the cost of subsidy, Patel said, "The airlines
can not be asked to share the cost of subsidy as part of their
corporate social responsibility."
Replying to a separate question, the Civil Aviation
Minister said representations have been received from various
quarters, including the All-India Cabin Crew of Air India,
protesting against the appointment of a foreigner as Chief
Operating Officer (COO).
"COO in NACIL (National Aviation Company of India Ltd)
has been appointed by a committee taking into consideration
credentials of all the candidates that applied for the post
and the requirement of the company," Patel added.
Responding to another query, he said the government is
examining the proposal to allow foreign airlines to invest in
domestic airline companies.