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`Haj order; Govt was working in the same direction`

Welcoming the Supreme Court order on abolishing Haj subsidy, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said the government had been working on the issue "in the same direction" over the years.



New Delhi: Welcoming the Supreme Court order on abolishing Haj subsidy, Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said the government had been working on the issue "in the same direction" over the years.

"The issue of Haj subsidy has been already under consideration for over the last four years and discussions had taken place for roll back of Haj subsidy," Khurshid told reporters outside Parliament House.

He said along with rollback, the government was also working towards ensuring that there was no burden on pilgrims and the financial arrengements with the airlines were "more viable".

"I hope it will even out and balance out. This is my impression," said Khurshid, who also holds the Minority Affairs portfolio.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna refused to comment on the apex Court directive, saying he had not read the order.

"I have just heard about the Supreme Court decision. I have to go through the essence of the judgement. Once I go through it, that would be the right time to comment," Krishna told reporters after his bilateral talks with Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

Khurshid said the Haj subsidy was coming down over the years as things had changed a lot with time since the subsidy was provided.

Striking down the subsidy, the apex court directed that it be progressively "eliminated" within a period of 10 years.

PTI

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