SRINAGAR: Millions of Muslims all over the world perform the hajj pilgrimage every year. And the quota of hajj is allotted to the different countries by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For the last few years the annual hajj quota provided to India was 1,70,000. For the current year the quota was increased by 5,000 and it was announced that 1,75,000 pilgrims will be in a position to perform hajj this year.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman announced a further increase of 25,000 pilgrims for the Hajj 2019. Now 2,00,000 pilgrims will perform hajj in 2019. Out of 1,70,000 pilgrims, 1,25,000 pilgrims used to perform hajj through Hajj Committee of India and remaining 4,500 pilgrims through private tour operators (PTOs). Hajj Committee, Government of India distributes the quota among the different states as per the Muslim population ratio of the state.
Jammu and Kashmir has approximately 3% population of total Indian Muslim population.
The quota for PTOs Private Tour Operators) is distributed among those declared qualified by ministry of minority affairs/ministry of external affairs.
There are thousands of PTOs throughout India but only 753 PTOs are qualified as on date. Once declared qualified, PTO remains qualified unless it is not disqualified.
Out of hundreds of PTOs of J&K, only 10 PTOs have been declared qualified, registered with Ministry of Minority Affairs and Government of India. Quota is allotted to the qualified PTOs and the criteria for qualification is very difficult rather impossible for any other PTO from the state to get qualified for the Hajj 2019.
Out of the ten qualified PTOs of Jammu and Kashmir, only seven could get quota for Hajj 2018 in a draw of lots. These are: Universe Travel Corporation, Al Khuddam Haj and Umrah Travel Services, Al Huda Travels, Gazi Tour and Travels, Al Hayat Hajj and Omrah Travel Services, Rohani Tours and Travels and Behreen Tour and Travels. The remaining three PTOs that were not allotted with the quota for Hajj 2018 but are qualified and eligible for quota allotment for Hajj 2019 are: Labaika Hajj and Umrah Travel Service, Sahar Tour and Travels and Al Gazali Tour and Travels.