New Delhi, Sep 1: The government has changed the rules of the Haj quota in order to make Haj quota allocation process for private tour operators transparent and fair.
The external affairs ministry has decided to allocate the Haj quota among private tour operators (PTOs) in accordance with the principles of openness, transparency and equity.
It also decided to provide equal opportunity to those PTOs which are "eligible and fulfill the prescribed criterion for being a duly registered as tour operator."
This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by external affairs minister SM Krishna here last week in compliance with the various court cases of 2008 and 2009.
As per the 2009 Haj agreement with Saudi Arabia, Indian Haj pilgrims quota stands at 160,491, out of which 1,15,000 pilgrims are to be sent through the Haj Committee and the remaining 45,491 through PTOs.
Until 2008, Haj quota was distributed among PTOs on the basis of their qualifications and experience. Because of this, no new PTO could qualify for Haj quota owing to their lack of experience and several of them approached the courts.