HAAB announces Tk 6.72 lakh private hajj package03 February 2023
Staff Reporter :
For the first time, the country's private Hajj agencies on Thursday announced Hajj package of Tk 6,72,618 for each of the pilgrims, which is around Tk10,400 less than the government's lowest package.
Increasing by 31 percent than the previous year of 2022, the lowest Hajj package of Tk 6,83,018 per person for the government arrangement pilgrims was announced for performing Hajj this year.
Apex body of the traders, Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) President M. Shahadat Hossain Taslim announced the package for private management pilgrims at a press conference held at a city hotel in the capital on Thursday.
However, the private agencies have the authority to fix suitable own packages considering the ability of their pilgrims.
Giving announcement of new Hajj package, Taslim informed that the registration process of private management Hajj pilgrims will start from February 6 this year.
"The pilgrims are requested to take money receipt from the agencies by paying entire Hajj fees through banks by March 15 to avert fraudulence," he urged.
Earlier on Wednesday, State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan announced the lowest package for government management pilgrims after a meeting of executive committee on Hajj management.
This year's Hajj will be held on June 27 depending on moon sighting. To send Bangladeshi pilgrims and manage the Hajj smoothly, the government has signed an agreement on January 9 this year with Saudi Arabia.The President of HAAB, an apex body of the private Hajj agencies, said that HAAB tried to reduce the proposed plane fare of Biman which was suggested to set at Tk2,10,337 for per person. Finally, it was reduced at Tk1,97,797. But, it's still too high. The government still has the scope to reduce it.
He claimed that due to the high fare of plane, a huge amount of foreign currencies will go to the pocket of the foreigners involved with carrying the pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.
Regarding the initiative of the private agencies to reduce the package fees, Taslim told this correspondent, "We have tried to arrange the package, so that the pilgrims don't need to suffer for higher charge. If the plane fare is reduced more, we will also reduce it as we have nothing to do with the plane fare. The pilgrims usually pay their plane fare whatever it needs."
He also urged the government to fix the plane fare forming a technical body like it fixes transport fees for the local transports. "Biman is a commercial organization and a party here. It will try to make profit. So, the government shouldn't comply with the proposal of the Biman to fix plane fares."
He also requested the government to ensure carrying all pilgrims through dedicated flights instead of schedule flights as the pilgrims will be charged for a dedicated flight. "But, the air carriers carry at 30 percent of the pilgrims with scheduled flight every year. As a result, they need to face sufferings. But, we fear that the air carriers will carry the pilgrims in scheduled flights like the previous years."
Among others, HAAB Secretary General Faruque Ahmed and Senior Vice President Yakub Ali Sharafati were also present the press conference.