Monday, 29 May, 2023

HC issues rule against hajj package cost

HC issues rule against hajj package cost

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DHAKA - A High Court (HC) division bench today issued a rule asking why the Hajj package announced by the government this year should not be declared to be against the public interest.

The HC division bench comprising Justice K. M. Kamrul Kader and Justice Mohammad Ali issued the rule.

The court also sought to know why other airlines besides Bangladesh Biman and Saudi Airlines would not be included in list of airlines for booking tickets for hajj, keeping the affordability of the pilgrims in mind.

Religious Affairs Secretary, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary, Director General of the Islamic Foundation and Hajj Association of Bangladesh (HAB) have been asked to respond to the rule within the next four weeks.

On March 6, a legal notice was sent to the government to review the Hajj package price and set it at Tk 4 lakh by Supreme Court lawyer and chief coordinator of Al-Quran Study Center, Advocate Ashraf Uz Zaman.

The notice which stated that legal action will be taken against the concerned authorities if they don't take necessary steps within a week, was also sent to the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Advocate Ashraf Uz-Zaman, petitioner of the writ, told BSS that they want the concerned party to amend, change and reschedule the Hajj Package-2023, confining it within Taka four lakh. "We have pointed out other issues like including other airlines besides Bangladesh Biman or Saudi Airlines, to ease out the burden of the expenses for the pilgrims," he added.

The government fixed the cost of Hajj in the current year at Tk 6.83 lakh. On the other hand, the minimum cost for Hajj pilgrims under private management (without qurbani) has been set at Tk 6.72 lakh.

With the announced packages, a pilgrim will have to spend around 1.5 lakh taka extra this year, compared to the previous year's budget.