Finance Minister Jihad to oversee Maldives Hajj pilgrimages

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad will head a government body formed to oversee Hajj pilgrimages undertaken by Maldivian nationals, according to the President’s Office.

The government announced its intention in May to establish the state-owned Maldives Hajj Corporation Limited following a recommendation by the Cabinet Economic Committee.

President Dr Mohamed Waheed opted at the time to form the company with 100 percent government shares.

The announcement of the company’s foundation follows recent legal wrangling in the Maldives’ courts over whether the Islamic Ministry should be forced to reevaluate several unsuccessful bids by local Hajj groups wishing to offer pilgrimages.

The case was filed on the back of concerns at alleged corruption within the current system.

Select Hajj groups were this year authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.