JAKARTA, Indonesia – Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Alie said the Saudi government appears willing to compensate the Indonesian government for losses related to reducing the number of Hajj pilgrims the country can send to Mecca this year, Kompas reported.
Saudi Arabia issued 20% cuts virtually across the board, citing expansion and renovation work in Mecca that is reducing its current capacity to provide for pilgrims. Capacity will likely be restricted until 2016.
As a result of these cuts, the potential risk of losses is around Rp 800 billion ($80.6m), Pikiran Rakyat quoted Suryadharma as saying. He also reportedly indicated Saturday that he would delay the departure of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia until he gets answers from the Saudi government.