There is no scope to reduce the fare of hajj flights this year, said Managing Director of national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines Shafiul Azim on Sunday.
“We have been working for the past three months over Hajj flight management of Biman. Our first proposal about fare was Tk 2.10 lakh. Later, it was reduced to Tk 1.98 lakh and the National Executive Committee fixed the fare. The reason behind the hike in hajj fare is increased tax, high dollar rate and jet fuel price. We don’t have hands in it,” he said.
The CEO of the national carrier said this while speaking at a press briefing held at the Balaka office in Kurmitola.
Replying to a question, he said, “The hajj fare which was fixed for this year is the lowest and we have reduced it as much as possible.”
This year, the government has fixed the cost of performing hajj at Tk 6,83,018 for each pilgrim under the government management while Tk 6,72,618 under the private management. It fixed Tk 1,98,000 as Biman flight fare.
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 HC 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.
Ashraf-uz-Zaman sent a legal notice to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, requesting it to reduce the cost of hajj pilgrims and bring it under Tk 4 lakh
Later, he filed a writ on March 12 as the concerned authority failed to respond to the legal notice.
Hajj-2023 will be held on 9th day of Zilhaj (June 28) depending on moon sighting.
As of March 15, a total of 9,569 people have registered for hajj under government management and another 91,246 people under private management.
There are still 25,480 empty quotas for registration.