Published:  02:33 AM, 12 February 2019

Cost of Hajj trips rises

The cost of Hajj journeys, through both public and private providers, has risen for the second year in a row. The cabinet yesterday approved the draft of Hajj Package-2019, fixing the maximum cost for a pilgrim under the government arrangement at Tk 4,18,500 which was Tk 3,97,929, last year.

The cabinet also approved the draft Hajj Package, 2019, fixing the minimum cost for a pilgrim at Tk 3,44,000, up by Tk 24,645 from the previous year under package- 2 of the government management, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told reporters after the meeting.

Drafts of the 'National Hajj and Umrah Policy-2019' and the 'Hajj Package-2019' were approved at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday. Last year package-1 was sold for Tk 397,929 and package-2 sold for Tk 319,355.

This means the price of the government's Hajj package-1 rose by Tk 20,571 while that of package-2 rose by Tk 24,645 year-on-year. The minimum price for private Hajj trips has been set at Tk 344,000 this year, the cabinet secretary said.

The cost of Korbani sacrifices has risen from 475 Saudi riyals to 525 Saudi riyals, Shafiul Alam said.The cost of renting private planes has been set at Tk 128,000, which is Tk 10,191 less than last year.The Hajj will begin around August 10 this year, depending on the sighting of the moon. This year some 127,198 will be making the pilgrimage to Makkah from Bangladesh.

All those who wish to take part in the Hajj must have passports that expire after February 10, 2020, the cabinet secretary said.Those who are financially, physically and mentally capable of making the journey will be able to do so, Shafiul Alam added. Previously those who had mental difficulties were able to make the trip without support.

"This year we will have to pay for the accommodations in Saudi Arabia before Ramadan," the cabinet secretary said. "The Saudi accommodation charges and catering charges will be paid online."This year the address for Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia would be added to the passports, he added.

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