The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of 'Hajj Package 2015' fixing the minimum cost for single hajj pilgrim at Tk 2,96,206.
Some 1,01,758 Bangladeshi pilgrims are to be allowed to perform hajj next year (2015) through a provision of mandatory online registration and having Machine Readable Passports (MRPs).
The approval to the new hajj package was given at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The hajj, the largest Muslim religious congregation, will be held on September 22 next year depending on moon sighting in Saudi Arabia.
Of the total pilgrims, some 10,000 will perform hajj in 2015 under government management while 91,758 pilgrims under private management, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said briefing reporters after the meeting.
He said the Saudi government has introduced a new system of electronic hajj management in 2015 under which the interested hajj pilgrims would have to make advance online registration while no one would be allowed without the MRPs.
The Cabinet Secretary said there would be two packages as in 2014 under the government hajj management while the estimated cost for the Package I excluding the cost for sacrificial animal of Tk 3,54,745 with a Tk 429 increase from the last year.
The estimated cost for the Package II also excluding the cost for sacrificial animal would be Tk 2,96,206 with a Tk 430 increase from the previous year.
He said the hajj packages announced by the private hajj agencies could not be less than Tk 2,96,206. The private hajj agencies will also be allowed to announce maximum two hajj packages.
Besides, every hajj pilgrim will have to carry separately some 500 Saudi Real or Tk 10,500 with them for sacrificial animals. Apart from this, every pilgrim could carry maximum $ 1,000 or Tk 78,000 with them.
For both the packages under government management, the interested hajj pilgrims would have to complete online registration in between January 21, 2015 to February 5, 2015 with Tk 1,51,690, including Moallem fee, train fares, local service charge, training fee, contingency fund, plane fares and others.
The rest of the amount of Tk 2,03,055 for Package I while that of Tk 1,44,516 for Package II under government management would have to be provided by June 10, 2015 as the additional service charge to the Moallems, house rent, food and other expenditure.
Under private hajj management, every pilgrim will have to provide Tk 1,48,331.50 as registration fee in between January 21, 2015 to February 5, 2015 while the rest of the amount of Tk 1,47,874.50 has to be provided by June 10, 2015.
Bangladesh will be allowed to send maximum 1,01,758 Hajj pilgrims next year to Saudi Arabia as the Saudi authorities kept slashing the quota for each Muslim country due to ongoing renovation work at ‘Haram Sharif’ in Makkah.
Ministers, state ministers and secretaries concerned were present.