ISLAMABAD – The Ministry of Religious Affairs will start receiving Haj applications from April 20 and the policy of first come first serve will continue, spokesman Hafiz Sher Ali said Wednesday. He said Haj expenditures are likely to increase this year due to inflation. Haj fares have already been finalized. The new fare for Government Haj Scheme would be Rs73, 000 from Quetta, Karachi and Rs85, 000 would be charged from Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore.A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony withPIA would be held on April 15, he added. The Haj policy draft would be presented soon before the cabinet for approval. He said, as many as 179,210 lucky persons would perform Haj this year. Half of them would perform Haj under the Government scheme while the rest under private scheme. The intending pilgrims have been divided into Green, Blue and White category. The intending pilgrims, who pay 7500 riyals, would be provided residential facilities within 900-m of Haram Sharif. And they would be placed in the Blue category. The Green category pilgrims would be provided residential facilities from 900 to 2000 metres from Haram Sharif in 5000 riyals. White category pilgrims would be provided residences from over 2000 meters from Haram Sharif in 3600 riyals. Responding to a question he said the quota of parliamentarians would not be restored. Machine readable passport, Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) have been declared mandatory this year also.