The deadline for the submission of applications under the Regular Hajj Scheme has been extended till Sunday, April 2, a private TV channel reported on Friday. According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, designated banks will be open to receive Hajj applications on Saturdays and Sundays. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been approached by the designated banks for permission to remain open. According to the spokesperson, the last date to submit applications for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme has been extended till Sunday, April 9. The decision to extend the deadlines was made due to difficulties in receiving remittances from overseas Pakistanis. The spokesperson said Hajj applicants should refer to the designated banks for further information and processing. He added that applicants for the Sponsorship Hajj Scheme will be declared successful without drawing a lottery. For applications sent under Sponsorship Scheme, he said that funds should be remitted to the Ministry of Religious Affairs account through telegraphic transfer (TT) or wire transfer. The spokesperson added that applicants should contact their nearest bank of choice for verification and processing of the remitted funds. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Religious Affairs had ruled out the possibility of extending the last date to submit Hajj applications. Spokesperson Muhammad Umar Butt, talking to APP, had urged the intending pilgrims to submit their Hajj applications and dues in time. Giving a break-up of the Hajj applications, he said that the ministry had received 44,621 Hajj applications through designated banks so far. Of these, 40,313 applications were received under the Government Hajj Scheme and 4,308 under Sponsorship Hajj Scheme.