‘No Haj Subsidy, Funds to be Spent on Education’

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NEW DELHI:
Reiterating that the Haj subsidy has been scrapped, the Union government on Tuesday said the focus would now be on the socio-economic empowerment of minority women and that the ruling NDA would be seeking passage of the Bill criminalising instant talaq in the Parliament during the upcoming Budget session.
Committing to spend the Haj subsidy, which had lately been Rs 250 crore, on educational empowerment of Muslim women, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would host a brainstorming session on ‘inclusive growth of the minority communities in the country’ in Lucknow on Thursday. Ministers and senior officials of nine states including Bihar, Chattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh would take part in the conclave. Similar conclaves will be hosted in Kolkata and Mumbai in the coming months, while the first had been held in Chennai, Naqvi said.
“Even after scrapping of the Haj subsidy, highest number of Muslims — a total of 1.75 lakh, a record since Independence — will embark on pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina this year. The government is giving multiple options for the pilgrimage, besides an agreement signed with Saudi Arabia for allowing travel through sea routes,” Naqvi said.
The Minorities Minister also said the Centre is determined to push the Triple Talaq Bill in the upcoming Budget session.“The Bill has already been introduced in the Rajya Sabha after the Lok Sabha gave its nod. We want discussions in the Upper House on the Bill. There is no need for promulgating it through an Ordinance,” Naqvi said.

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