The Ministry of Religious Affairs has extended the deadline for Hajj registration under government and private management for another three days until March 30 as the quota for hajj pilgrims has not been fulfilled despite reducing the cost.
Once the quota is filled, the registration server will automatically shut down, as stated in the ministry's notification issued on Monday.
This opportunity will be available for aspirant pilgrims who want to perform hajj after completing pre-registration for the first time, according to a release.
As per the agreement signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia on January 9, a total of 127,198 people from Bangladesh will be able to perform hajj this year.
However, until 6:30 pm on Monday evening, only 117,347 aspirant pilgrims had registered for Hajj pilgrimage. Among them, 9,892 pilgrims registered under government management, and 107,455 people registered under private management. As a result, 9,851 quotas for hajj pilgrims remain vacant.
In 2023, 249,224 people who wanted to go to Hajj had completed their pre-registration. Among them, 8,391 people pre-registered under government management, while the number was 240,833 under private management.
After the Ministry's announcement of reducing the hajj package cost, a Bangladeshi will have to spend at least Tk 6,71,290 to perform hajj under government management this year, while the minimum cost for performing hajj under private management has been fixed at Tk 6,60,893.
The registration of pilgrims for hajj this year started on February 8, and the deadline for registration was initially February 23, which was later extended to February 28.
However, very few pilgrims completed the registration procedure compared to the quota fixed for Bangladesh.
The deadline for registration was then extended till March 7, but less than half the quota of pilgrims was fulfilled until that deadline.
The deadline was then extended again until March 16, but the response from aspirant pilgrims remained poor. Finally, the cost of the hajj package was reduced by Tk 11,725, and the registration deadline was extended till March 27.
Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, will be held on the 9th day of Zillhajj or June 27, depending on the moon sighting.