State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haq Khan said on Tuesday that the cost of Hajj package will be reduced a bit.
“We requested the Saudi government to lessen the cost of hajj packages and an announcement will come from the government on Wednesday in this regard,” he said while addressing an ‘intra- religious dialogue’ at the collectorate conference room of the district.
The Saudi government increased the cost by around Tk one lakh for each pilgrim as they added some new facilities for hajj pilgrims to the previous ones, he said.
On February 1, the government fixed at Tk 6, 83,018 as hajj cost for each pilgrim which was around Tk 1.61 lakh more the past year.
The increased hajj cost drew huge criticism as it is higher than that of the neighbouring countries .
Of them, an amount of Tk 1, 97,797 was fixed as airfare for each passenger.
Read more: No scope to reduce hajj flight fare this year: Biman MD
The High Court on March 14 questioned how common people will perform hajj at the cost of the package set by the government.
It questioned, “Why doesn't the government allocate budgets for the hajj like other countries in the world?”
The High Court bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Mohammad Ali came up with this observation while hearing a writ petition over revising the hajj package offered by the government this year.
The HC asked the authorities concerned to take initiative to cut the hajj cost following a hearing on the writ petition on March 15.
On March 17, the Ministry of Religious Affairs gave directives to the authorities concerned to rationally reduce the airfare of Biman.
On March 19, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Managing Director Shafiul Azim said there is no scope to reduce the fare of hajj flights this year.