New Delhi: Under the Government subsidy scheme, the Centre on Friday approved Haj subsidy for 1.25 lakh pilgrims. The Centre has fixed fare of Rs 16,000 per person undertaking the religious journey. 

The Union Cabinet on Friday, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to a proposal for covering 1.25 lakh Haj pilgrims under this year's Government subsidy scheme which will be facilitated by the Haj Committee.

Earlier, Union Foreign Minister SM Krishna had informed the Rajya Sabha that the Saudi Government has authority to fix Haj quota.

"Fare to be charged from each of the pilgrims for Haj 2011 is Rs 16,000," an official release said.

It said Haj flights would be operated from 21 embarkation points during during the pilgrimage duration.

Haj chartered flights will be operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines and the national air services from 13 and eight embarkation points respectively.

The pilgrims would be carried from India to Jeddah between September 29 and October 31. The return flights from Jeddah to India will operate between November 10 and December 10.

The Cabinet also granted ex-post facto approval for increasing the number of pilgrims to 1,26,191 for last year's Haj pilgrimage. It is worth mentioning that the Air India would not operate Haj flights due to its battered financial condition.

JPN/Agencies