Govt trying to reduce Haj subsidy, says Krishna

New Delhi: The government is striving to reduce Haj subsidy, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today.

While replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Krishna said in 2009, government has taken a decision to increase the air fare for pilgrims going through Haj Committee from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 per person.

According to reports, in 2007 the Haj subsidy paid by the government was Rs 5.95 billion, and for 2008 it was Rs 7 billion.

On whether government has received complaints of corruption in the Haj arrangements, Krishna replied in the negative.

However, in the past, some complaints were received mainly regarding pilgrims not getting desired category of accommodation, inadequate facilities at the place of stay, problems of local transportation, he said.

The improvement in the Haj management is a continuous exercise for which the government regularly reviews previous arrangements, he said.