Umrah drop box agents accused of charging high fee from pilgrims

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ISLAMABAD

Staff Report

Pilgrims have accused Umrah drop box owners of charging an extra fee from pilgrims in violation of the amount fixed by the Saudi embassy.

The Umrah pilgrims have demanded that the Saudi embassy takes notice of the overcharging and highhandedness of the drop box owners’ which was illegal.

Sources said that the Saudi embassy in Pakistan has issued licences of Umrah drop box facility to around 16 influential companies, which have established a monopoly across the country.

The drop box owners allegedly charge the high fee from the pilgrims in violation of the standard fee fixed by the Saudi embassy, the sources said. The visa drop box fee was fixed Rs50 by the embassy but the drop box companies were charging between Rs500 and Rs1000 per passport, the sources claimed.

Around two million pilgrims from Pakistan perform Umrah every year during the beginning of the Islamic year and in the holy month of Ramazan.

The pilgrims have demanded that the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan should also take notice of the situation, saying that the overcharging of the fee by the companies was also damaging the reputations of the embassy.