The Cabinet has approved the drafts of the National Hajj and Umrah Policy 2018 and the Hajj Package 2018, fixing the minimum cost for a Hajj pilgrim under government arrangement at Tk331,359.
The approval was given in the regular Cabinet meeting held at the Prime Minister's Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters at the Secretariat on Monday afternoon, reports BSS.
A total of 127,198 pilgrims would be performing the Hajj this year. Of them, 1,20,000 would go to Saudi Arabia under private management and 7,198 under government arrangement.
In the first package under the government arrangement, a pilgrim would pay Tk397,929 and in the second package the cost will be Tk331,359.
The minimum cost excluding house rent for a pilgrim who would perform Hajj under private arrangement has been fixed at Tk168,277.
The costs include the airfare of Tk38,191 for each pilgrim.
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The Cabinet secretary said the airfare has been increased by $75 (one US dollar equals Tk83.45) following the rise in jet fuel price and devaluation of taka against dollar.
He noted that all the pilgrims will have to carry machine readable passports for performing Hajj this year.
A Hajj agency would be able to send a highest 300 and minimum 150 pilgrims from Bangladesh, he said, adding that an aircraft can carry the pilgrims of three Hajj agencies and three Moallems (guides).
The pilgrims under the private management will have to pay money for qurbani (sacrificing animal) through the coupon of Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia.
Shafiul Alam also said a person willing to perform Hajj will have to pre-register online. The Bangladeshis living abroad would be able to pre-register using their passports instead of National ID cards. The registration would remain valid for two years.
He mentioned that police verification for the Hajj pilgrims would not be required as such process is done during issuance of passports.
He said that once the registration is completed, it would not be possible to replace the registered pilgrims with others.
However, the secretary said, replacement could be made in case of death or complicated ailment of any registered pilgrim, and added that it would not be more than 4% of the registered ones.