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Haj subsidy: Ahmed Patel urges Centre to share expenditure details of funds

New Delhi [India], Jan. 17 : A day after the withdrawal of Haj subsidy, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel hoped that the central government would spend the funds for the development of minorities, as mandated by the Supreme Court in its 2012 order.

In a letter to Minority Affairs Minister M.A. Naqvi, Patel has also requested the government to share expenditure details of the funds.

"I hope this reduction in outlay by nearly Rs 200 crore has been matched by an increased investment in the welfare of the community, as mandated by the Supreme Court. I hope that the Ministry has implemented the guidelines of the Supreme Court in letter and spirit and if possible share details of such expenditure," the letter read.

"While I welcome the implementation of the Supreme Court's order, I would like to point out that Supreme Court had also mandated that the savings accrued from the gradual reduction - to eventual elimination in 10 years - in the Hajj subsidy must be deployed towards the socio-economic welfare of the community," Patel stated in the letter.

The letter further reads, "The Government in its wisdom has chosen to reduce the subsidy and eventually eliminate it, four years ahead of the 2022 deadline. Available records show that between 2014 and 2017, the Central Government's grant for Hajj has been reduced from Rs 401 crore to Rs 200 crore."

Yesterday, the Centre had scrapped the Haj subsidy for pilgrims saying that the fund would instead be used for the empowerment of minorities from this year onwards. 

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