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Bangladesh govt offsets Hajj costs increased by Saudis, says ministry

The government has lowered cost from its end, said Minister Sheikh Md Abdullah in a media briefing on Tuesday.

Earlier, the drafts of the ‘National Hajj and Omrah Policy-2019’ and ‘Hajj Package-2019’ were approved by the ministry on Monday.

Package-1 of the government-managed pilgrim tours for this year will cost an individual Tk 418,500, while Package-2 costs Tk 344,000.

Last year, Package-1 cost was set at Tk 397,929 and Package-2 was Tk 331,359.

“As you can see, the cost for Package-1 has gone up by Tk 20,571 compared to last year. But the Saudi government had raised it to Tk 24,980 Saudi government by adding service charges.”

None can reverse the charges added by the Saudi government, he said. “The Saudi government increased cost by Tk 19,035. But we raised the cost by around 12,000 compared to last year.”  

“The proposed cost for Package-1 was Tk 442,000 and for Package-2 was Tk 370,000. Now tell me if Hajj is costlier?”  

“I hope you’ll now be able to tell that we have reduced cost for Hajj,” said the minister. The next pilgrimage will be held on Aug 10 based on the sighting of the Zil-Hajj moon. 

As many as 127,198 Bangladeshi pilgrims can travel to the kingdom this year. Their passports must be valid until Feb 10 of 2020.      

The pilgrims must book houses in Saudi Arabia by the month of Ramadan. The housing fee along with the service and catering fees must be submitted online.

The pilgrims of this year will have their Saudi addresses attached to their passports, according to the cabinet secretary. 

Article source: https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2019/02/12/bangladesh-govt-offsets-hajj-costs-increased-by-saudis-says-ministry

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