Recently released information by Ministry of External Affairs shows the number of applications received for Hajj 2011 is more than three times of its allocated quota. Hajj services in India are mainly performed through a government organization, the “Central Hajj Committee of India” which allocates its quota of pilgrims to all thirty five states as per their share of Muslim population. Excess applications are put through the method of Qurrah (Randomly selection).
Government of India does provide subsidy in airfare and offers other services at cheaper rates compared to private tour operators. A small share of pilgrims also offer Hajj through private tour operators to whom the Government allocates a select number of seats. Since the living standard in India is improving greatly, given higher economic and per capita income growth, the number of affluent Muslims has also increased causing an increase those pursuing Hajj.
For the Hajj 2011, Indian government had been initially allotted 104,000 seats by the Ministry of Hajj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but overwhelming response with 302,616 numbers of applications for Hajj forced the government to request the revision of quota from Hajj Ministry (KSA) and finally it is approved 108,240 seats for Indians.
As on 12.08.2011, numbers of excess applications are 194,376. All these figures and Indian Muslim trend lead to a potential market of Umrah which is not bound to any quota. Rejected person of Hajj in Qurrah system may be encouraged to register for Umrah.