Govt plans to raise Haj pilgrim's airfare

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Praful Patel
New Delhi, Aug 20: The government has proposed to increase the Haj pilgrim's share of the fare by Rs 4,000 each year to Rs 16,000 to reduce the subsidy burden, said Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to the Lok Sabha.

"At present, pilgrims performing Haj through the Haj Committee of India have been paying Rs 12,000 as to-and-fro fare since 1994," he said, adding that the additional travel cost is borne by the government.

Patel said, "The airlines can not be asked to share the cost of subsidy as part of their corporate social responsibility."

The minister said representations have been received from various quarters, including the All-India Cabin Crew of Air India, protesting against the appointment of a foreigner as Chief Operating Officer (COO).

"COO in NACIL (National Aviation Company of India Ltd) has been appointed by a committee taking into consideration credentials of all the candidates that applied for the post and the requirement of the company," Patel added.

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