Centre Mulls Ending All Pilgrimage Subsidies

published on January 21, 2015

NEW DELHI: Many may harbour doubts about the NDA government’s stand on the “co-existence of God and Caesar”, but clarity, it seems, is on its way. The government is contemplating to scrap government assistance to all pilgrimage trips irrespective of religion.

According to sources in the government, one should not read much politics into this proposition as the government is merely following a Supreme Court order regarding Haj subsidies in particular and pilgrimage subsidies in general.

The SC in 2012 had directed the Centre to gradually abolish the Haj subsidy over a period of 10 years. The apex court also said the Centre should invest that amount in education and other development measures for the minority community.

The source said the present government agrees with the Supreme Court on this matter. The government is of the view that its role should not be to provide monetary assistance but restricted to helping pilgrims obtain visas for the pilgrimage and with arrangements abroad, the source added.

“Moreover, if the government is doing this for one community, there will be demands from other communities too and it is not going to help the state exchequer,” the source said.

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