Cost goes up by Tk 1.61 lakh
Hajj package announced02 February 2023
Staff Reporter :
Increasing by 31 per cent than the previous year, the government has announced the new Hajj package of Tk 683,018 per person under the government arrangement pilgrims to perform hajj this year.
Apart from this, according to the 'Route to Mecca initiative' deal, all hajj pilgrims will complete their pre-arrival immigration in Dhaka.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan on Wednesday announced the package after the meeting of the executive committee on hajj management. The meeting has taken the decision held with the State Minister for Religious Affairs in the chair.
According to the announcement of the state minister, the package would be applicable for the government management pilgrims while the private hajj agencies will fix their packages in coordination with the government packages. However, it wouldn't be less than the government package.
Meanwhile, the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), an apex body of the private Hajj agencies, will announce its package at a press conference to be held on Thursday, according to its President M Shahadat Hossain Taslim.
In 2022, the government management pilgrims had to pay Tk 5.86 lakh and Tk 5.21 lakh for two packages respectively while the pilgrims of private agency arrangement pilgrims had paid Tk 5.23 lakh.
With this estimation, the Hajj fees for this year is at least Tk 1.62 lakh and Tk 97,018 higher than the previous year. Most of the expenditure was increased due to increasing trend of plane fare and price hike of Saudi Riyal (SR) and US Dollar, according to the officials concern.
This year's Hajj will be held on June 27 depending on moon sighting. To send Bangladeshi pilgrims and manage the Hajj smoothly, the governments of the two countries had already signed an agreement on January 9 this year.
According to the agreement, some 127,198 pilgrims of Bangladesh would be allowed to perform Hajj this year. Of those, some 15,000 people will be able to go to Hajj under government management while 112,198 under private management.
The Biman Bangladesh Airlines will carry 50 per cent of the pilgrims while Saudia Airlines will carry the rest 50 per cent passengers.
Besides, the age limit for Hajj pilgrims during the pandemic has been lifted by the Saudi government - paving the way for people over 65 to go for the significant pilgrimage.
In case of Covid vulnerable situation, the Saudi authorities can take a decision about the number of the pilgrimage.
This year, 70 per cent of Bangladeshi pilgrims will go through Jeddah Airport while the rest 30 per cent will go through Madinah airport.
According to the relevant sources, the plane fare was Tk 1.40 lakh for the pilgrims in last year. Considering price hike of SR and availability of air tickets price was fixed at Tk 2 lakh. The ticket price was fixed considering the vacant seats in the return flights.