The Hajj Corporation spent MVR 69.3 million on the 1443 Hajj pilgrimage, Islamic Minister Ahmed Zahir has said.
Maafannu Central MP Ibrahim Rasheed asked the Hajj Corporation to provide written details of the expenses incurred by the corporation for hotels in Saudi Arabia's Mecca and Medina during the 1443 Hajj pilgrimage, the amount paid to the Mutawwif, and the amount paid by pilgrims.
In a written response to questions read out at the Parliament on Monday, the Islamic Minister said the Hajj Corporation had spent MVR 39.6 million on the 23-day stay at the Mecca hotel, and MVR 1.8 million on the two days at the Medina hotel. The minister said the total expenditure on the Mutawwif was MVR 10.6 million.
The minister said no pilgrims traveled with the Hajj Corporation during the 1443 pilgrimage as private parties. The minister said he was informed by the Hajj Corporation that no expense was incurred from the state budget for the pilgrimage.
The minister further said the Hajj Corporation has last sent 417 pilgrims from the Maldives. While MVR 9.8 million was spent on airline tickets, MVR 875,450.86 was spent on meals.
Member Ibrahim Rasheed also asked for details of the number of people sent from the Maldives to work in the Hajj Mission established in Mecca at the expense of the Islamic Ministry during the 1443 Hajj pilgrimage and the expenditure incurred for the purpose from the state budget.
The minister said the 1443 Hajj Mission consisted of five people and that a cost of MVR 1 million was incurred for the mission. The round tickets for the team cost MVR 148,278.72 while accommodation and meals cost MVR 762,364.80. The pocket money for the team was MVR 12,027.60 while a further MVR 154,000 was allocated for emergency use.