Bangladeshi Muslims who want to perform the holy Hajj this year have to spend Tk 59,000 in addition to the Hajj packages announced by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB).
Faridul Haque Khan, State Minister for Religious Affairs, made the announcement following the executive committee meeting on Hajj management at the ministry on Thursday.
He said the Hajj package was announced on May 11 with the condition that any additional charges levied by the royal Saudi government after the announcement of the Hajj package would be treated as a package price and the pilgrims would have to pay that.
"The provisional Hajj packages were prepared considering the potential cost due to delays and lack of actual expenditure details from the Saudi government. Now the Saudi Arabian government has informed us of the cost. That is why we had to adjust the Hajj prices," Faridul Haque Khan said.
He said that the Saudi authorities determined the expenditure statement into four categories based on the location of Hajis in Mina.
The minimum expenditure categories for C and D have been revealed. According to category C, SAR 8,640 has been fixed as Moallem fee while SAR 7,490 has been fixed in category D, the state minister said.
He added that Tk 105,597 and Tk 74,500 have been fixed as Moallem fees for categories C and D respectively.
Apart from this, a pilgrim has to pay an additional Tk 19,683 for a Qurbani (sacrificing animals) coupon from the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia.
The state minister said the ministry will issue a notification to receive this additional money on May 28, 29 and 30, and Bangladesh Bank has been requested to remain commercially open on Saturday to facilitate the Hajj pilgrims in this regard.
After a hiatus of two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, some 57,585 Bangladeshis will be performing Hajj this year. Among them, 4,000 will be going through the government packages and 53,585 through the private ones.
Hajj, a mandatory ritual for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is expected to be held on July 8 or 9, subject to the sighting of the moon.