Dhaka, Feb 12 (UNB) – Hajj packages for 2019 have become more costly as the government of Saudi Arabia hiked hajj service charges, train fares and house-rent costs.
Sheikh Md Abdullah, state minister of Religious Affairs ministry, put forth the reasons Tuesday while talking to the reporters at his Secretariat office.
The government has fixed TK 3,44,000 as the minimum price of hajj private package - if any agency is found to be charging lower than that, stern actions will be taken against them, the state minister said.
Service charges have been increased from TK 25,556 to TK 40,882 while Moallem (Accomodation) from TK 24,641 to TK 28,350, said Anisur Rahman, secretary of the ministry.
He said hajj pilgrims have to pay TK 10,000 more than previous year but the amount will be given back to them if it is not required.
Earlier on Monday, the Cabinet approved the draft Hajj Package-2019, fixing the minimum cost for a pilgrim at Tk 344,000, Tk 24,645 up from the previous year under package-2 of the government management.
Pilgrims have to pay Tk 418,500 to avail package-1 under the government management.
The minimum cost for a pilgrim who will perform hajj under private arrangement has been fixed at Tk 344,000.
A total of 127,198 pilgrims will be able to perform hajj from Bangladesh this year. Of them, 120,000 will go to Saudi Arabia under private management while 7,198 under government management, according to the cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam.
The plane fare has been fixed at Tk 128,000 which was Tk 138,191 last year.
The Cabinet Secretary said the intended hajj pilgrims must have physical and financial capacities and have to be in a mentally sound state to perform hajj.
In case of replacement of a person by another in the pre-registration process, the approval of the originally registered person will be required this year.
This year, the authenticity of those applying to attend hajj will have their passport verified through National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC) for the first time.