ISLAMABAD: Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Vakil Ahmed Khan has said that there would be no balloting to select pilgrims under government scheme this year. In an interview he said the applications would be invited through designated branches of banks on first come first serve basis. He said about one hundred sixty-five thousand Pakistani pilgrims would perform Hajj this year.
He informed that the banks are likely to start receiving applications for Hajj-2008 under government scheme from the second week of next month. About cost of the Hajj, he said the expenses would be high this year owing to lowering rupee value, high rent of buildings in Saudi Arabia and increasing fares of airlines.