Rehan Ansari & Afroz Alam Sahil for BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi. On Friday BeyondHeadlines (BH) broke story about rampant Corruption in Haj Committee of India (HCI). In our Story we have clearly mentioned that HCI, a no profit no loss organisation established under Act of Parliament, is actually earning around Rs. Ten thousand from each Haj Pilgrim.
We got a response from Shakir Hussain, CEO of Haj Committee of India. He presented the detail expenses of SAR 749 which was alleged as overcharged as follows-
SAR Particulars (Total Amount- 750 SAR)
|600||Additional Mina Charges paid to the South Asian Moassassa (Head of Moallims) for exclusive Maktabs (tents) for the Pilgrims within the traditional boundary of Mina as per earlier years|
|25||Blanket & Pillow in Mina
|10||Transportation of Excess Baggage
|11||Supply of Zam Zam Can of 10 Lit. to each Pilgrim
|13||City check-in of Baggage at Makkah/ Madinah
|40||1% Additional Accommodation, as per Saudi rules
|20||Over heads per pilgrim in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & India
In light of his reply BH would like to raise a few questions:
1. The Haj guidelines book give breakup of even 1000 rupees charged as processing fees then why the break-up of 746 SAR (INR 9099) not given?
2. HCI paid SAR 600 to South Asian Mossassa (Head of Muallims). South Asian Mossassa provides services to 6 Countries i.e. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Afganistan and Nepal. None of the remaining five most of them Muslim Countries pay this SAR 600, except India. Then Why HCI pay this amount?
Is it approved or sanctioned by the Ministry of Haj, Saudi Arabia? Does Bilateral Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia contain this amount? And finally what kind of additional facilities South Asian Mossassa provides to the Indian Pilgrims?
3. BH asks Shakir Husain to provide us the copies of Bilateral Agreement of 2011 and 2012. Also the Service Agreement between HCI and South Asian Mossassa for 2011 and 2012.
4. All the facilities like of Muallims, tents at Mina, Transportation, Zam Zam canes and others mentioned by the CEO are provided by the Sadui Government in SAR 942. If it is not true then Why this amount is charged by the Saudi Government and what facilities does it provide for that amount?
5. Does the accommodation charges SAR 2620 paid for Mecca, and SAR 500 Paid for Medinah not include charges for Beds and Pillows? We ask HCI to furnish detailed break of these charges and what facilities are given for them too.
About Foreign Exchange and the rates of SAR to Indian Rupees, CEO responded “The finalizing of foreign exchange rate in terms of Saudi Riyals is fixed by the Haj Committee of India, by inviting sealed quotation from various Banks, as per prescribed norms. During Haj – 2011, IndusInd Bank, submitted the lowest quote, 1 SAR = Rs. 12.1935, accordingly the job for issue of Saudi Riyals to the Pilgrims proceeding for Haj – 2011, was awarded to IndusInd Bank on 5th July, 2011. The actual payments to the Bank by HCI takes place 15 days before first flight.”
BH like to state that this tender is for SAR-2100, which was handed over to the Pilgrims at the Jeddah Airport and not for the approximately SAR- 5000 for the stay in Aziziyah, Madina, Mina, other holy cities and Travelling.
BH asks that when did HCI receive the last payment of Pilgrims from them and when this other amount of approximately SAR-5000 per pilgrims remitted and at what rate? Because BH believes that in June 2011 all the Pilgrims have deposited their amount and remitting this would have been done earlier in June to book the hotels at Aziziya, Makkah and Madina.
About the stay in Azizia the CEO of HCI answered, “The allegation of over-charging the rentals towards hiring of accommodation for the Pilgrims stay in Azizia area is not at all correct. The accommodation rates in Makka are decided on the basis of inputs received form CGI, Jeddah after due consultation with SHCs and Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India.”
Further he said, “There is a cut-throat competition from major countries, towards hiring of accommodation of pilgrims in the Kingdom, during Haj pilgrimage. The accommodation units in Makkah Mukarramah are hired by the Consulate General of India, Jeddah for the entire Haj season. The buildings are not hired on daily rental basis. The rate charged is for the entire Haj season. Taking in to consideration the above the rate charged was competitive.”
BH likes to ask that in this cut throat Competition between Countries to accommodate Millions of Pilgrims, “How come Tour Operators of India who send meager, nearly 40,000 Pilgrims, get so competitive price of SAR 800 to SAR 1600?
Previous Story Link: http://beyondheadlines.in/2012/03/haj-committee-earning-rs-10000-from-each-pilgrim/