ISLAMABAD: The process of submitting applications for government Hajj schemes through banks is underway and the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has received 14,247 Hajj applications through banks in two days. Joint Secretary Hajj Usman Sarosh Alvi in a statement on Wednesday said Hajj applications would be received till May 13. He informed that Hajj application must be accompanied by passport, health certificate, Saudi approved vaccine certificate, token amount of Rs 50,000. He said the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had not provided the details of mandatory Hajj expenses yet. The overall Hajj expenses would be announced only after receiving details of mandatory Hajj expenses from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, he added. Earlier, talking to APP, the Religious Affairs Ministry’s Spokesperson Muhammad Umar Butt said the ministry had relaxed some rules in a bid to facilitate the Hajj pilgrims at the maximum level. He said the rules were relaxed in the specific cases on the strong insistence of the pilgrims. He said the pilgrims whose passports were not valid till January 5, 2023 could also submit Hajj applications on the tokens provided by the Passport Office for their passports’ renewal, provided they must submit the new passports by May 18, 2022. Otherwise, it would be considered a failure, he added. He further said other applicants were required to submit their passports along with the Hajj applications in designated branches of the schedule banks. Umar Butt said the overseas Pakistanis could also apply for Hajj on the photocopies of passports and National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis valid till January 5, 2023, provided that they must send a request for booking in the last Hajj flights to the ministry through their banks and take full responsibility if their visas were declined in case of late submission of the passports. It was mandatory for them to provide their original passports before Zul Qadah 20, he added. He said those who performed Hajj between 2015 and 2019 were not eligible to apply under the government Hajj scheme this year, except for those men who were Shariah Muharram of the females’ relatives who had not performed Hajj during the said period. He said children under the age of 12 who had not been vaccinated could also apply for Hajj. This matter was subject to approval from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. He said all the 14 selected banks had been issued instructions regarding these rules.