The government has taken preparations so that the intending Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims do not face dollar crisis, said State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan on Thursday. He was talking to reporters after attending the Deputy Commissioners Conference 2023 at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital. Read more: 1918 pilgrims perform hajj at government's cost since 2014: State Minister Asked whether there is enough dollars in reserve for 27,000 pilgrims this season, the state minister said no such situation has been created in Bangladesh yet. “Bangladesh’s condition is still stable.” Regarding the propaganda over religion in textbooks, he said if there is anything controversial about religion in the textbooks, it must be removed. Read more: No increase in Hajj package this year, says minister The Ministry of Education has already formed two committees to investigate the matter. After the work of this committees, there remains an opportunity to do what are need to be done, he added. “It's a way to destroy communal harmony by spreading huge propaganda about a trivial matter. These are spread before the elections. There is no time to allow such things,” said the state minister.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines will use its own aircraft this year for operating Hajj flights instead of leasing planes. “As we don’t benefit from the leasing process, we have decided to use our own aircraft for Hajj flights,” Shafiul Azim, CEO and managing director of the national flag carrier, told UNB. Biman authorities discussed the decision at an inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday. Read more: Mecca Route Initiative agreement to make Bangladeshi pilgrims' journey easier: Shahriar “We are preparing in advance to ensure smooth operation of Hajj flights,” the Biman CEO said. The decision follows the airline’s experience from last year’s Hajj flights. It used four of its widebody planes for last year’s Hajj flights. Md. Faridul Haq Khan, state minister for religious affairs, told UNB that Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudia Airlines will carry 50 percent of Hajj pilgrims each this year. Read more: Route to Mecca: MoU signed to make Bangladeshi pilgrims' Saudi visits easier “According to the Saudi-Bangladesh Hajj Treaty of 2023, Bangladeshi pilgrims can perform Hajj this year as per full quota,” he added. He also said that Hajj packages will be announced by January 25–30. In response to a question about package prices, he said prices will not be increased this year. Read more: Biman launches flights to China’s Guangzhou “Passengers may have to spend a slightly higher amount for the increased dollar price, however,” he said. A total of 1,27,198 Bangladeshis can perform Hajj this year. Faridul Haq Khan also said the age limit has been withdrawn and Bangladeshis over the age of 65 can perform Hajj this year. Read More: No age limit: 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis can perform Hajj this year, deal signed with Saudi Pre-arrival immigration for all Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims will be completed in Dhaka under the ‘Road to Makkah’ agreement. However, the Saudi authorities may decide to reduce the permitted number of pilgrims if the Covid-19 situation worsens, he concluded.
From next year, the age limit for Hajj pilgrims may be lifted that could pave the way for people above 65 years to go for the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. This was announced by State Minister for Religious Affairs, Md Faridul Haque Khan, on Tuesday (October 4, 2022). "We hope this year's Hajj will be in full scale and we will get the full ratio of pilgrims as per quota," the Minister told reporters at a meeting of the newly elected committee of the Religious Reporters Forum (RRF), led by its president Ubaidullah Badol and general secretary Kamruzzaman Bablu. Read How to Perform Umrah from Bangladesh?
Three more Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims have died in Saudi Arabia's Mecca in the last three days, according to Bangladesh Hajj Management Portal. Fatema Begum, 60, was from Dhaka, Rafiqul Islam, 47, from Sirajganj, and Md Abdul Gafur Miah, 62, from Tangail. Fatema and Rafiqul died Thursday and Gafur Tuesday in Mecca, according to the hajj management portal. Read: Biman's first dedicated Hajj flight from Sylhet leaves for Jeddah The causes of their deaths could not be immediately determined, it added. Nine Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims, including three women, died in Saudi Arabia from June 11 to 30 this year. This year's hajj will start on July 6 and 60,256 Bangladeshis will be able to perform the pilgrimage.
Pilgrims will have to spend more to perform hajj this year as the minimum cost under government management has been fixed at Tk 4,62, 150, raising the expense by Tk 1,02,150 compared to 2020 . Under government management, Tk 5,27,340 lakh has been fixed as the maximum cost (Package -1), Tk 1,02,340 more than 2020, said State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan while talking to reporters after attending a meeting on hajj on Wednesday. Also read: Hajj pilgrims must submit Covid-negative report before journey Besides, the minimum cost under private management has been fixed at Tk 4,56,530 and the private hajj agencies can announce more than one package after keeping consistency with the government packages. This year, the government has announced only two packages but in 2020, it announced three packages and under Hajj Packages-3 the minimum cost was fixed at Tk 3.15 lakh. The pilgrims who intend to perform hajj this year can choose their packages from these two packages, said the minister. Explaining the reason behind the costlier hajj packages, Faridul said in 2020 the exchange rate of Saudi Riyal was Tk 23 and in 2022 it increased to Tk 24.30 and this is the main behind hike in the cost. Those who completed their registration in 2020 have to finalise their registration in 2022 again under the new packages and if the intending pilgrims fail to get registered in time their registration will be cancelled and they will get their money back following due process, he added.
Intending hajj pilgrims who had deposited registration money to perform hajj under government or private management and now want to withdraw their money have to apply after July 12.
The pilgrims who paid for the registration of Hajj this year will be able to take back their money if necessary, said the Ministry of Religious Affairs on Tuesday.