IN BANGLADESH: Only 6674 Pilgrims Registered under Hajj agencies, deadline extended till Dec 31

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In last 26 days of beginning of the registration of the Hajj pilgrims intending to perform Hajj next year of 2024, only 6,674 pilgrims have completed their registration by completing all procedures till Sunday, the last day of registration for the first phase.

In this situation, the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) has given announcement of extending the time of registration till December 31 this year as the ministry will have to submit the complete lists of Bangladeshi pilgrims to the Saudi Arabian authorities concern within January 7 next year.

In a final notice of the ministry issued with the signature of its Assistant Secretary Tafiqul Islam, the ministry of Sunday extended the registration time for the final phase.

In 2024, a total of 1,27,198 Bangladeshis will be able to perform hajj. Among them, 10,198 can avail this facility under the government management while the rests 1,17,000 will go under private management.

According to the website dedicated for Hajj registration and management under the Ministry off Religious Affairs, only 1,416 persons have completed their registration under government management while 5,258 persons registered under private management during the period.

Till to date, some 5,405 persons have completed their pre-registration while 1,39,877 pilgrims have enrolled as pre-registered under private arrangement, it showed.

As a result, most of the private Hajj agents have expressed their frustration over to sluggish registration process. They apprehend that the pilgrims quota allocated for Bangladesh would not be filled up due to various new conditions applied by the Saudi Arabian authorities and higher Hajj fees during the ongoing crisis period amid the wars in Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine and higher inflation in the country.

This year, the Saudi government has given condition that each of the government approved Hajj agencies must have to send at least 500 pilgrims to Hajj which was only 100 in the previous years.

Though some big agencies will be able to manage the number of pilgrims as per the condition of the pilgrim’s receiving country, it’s too hard for all Hajj agencies to collect 500 pilgrims for sending to Hajj. As a result, most of the agencies have stopped collecting pilgrims being discouraged with the condition.

In last Hajj season in 2023, Bangladesh government has allowed 603 Hajj agencies to send pilgrims. For the year of 2024, the number of agencies has been raised at 869 from the government approved agencies.

In the notice issued on Sunday, the ministry said that in accordance to the Saudi governments condition, they will have to send to pilgrims list to the country within January 7 next year. Otherwise, tents for the Bangladeshi pilgrims cannot be confirmed at Mina and Arafah. In this situation, they have to hire houses comparatively far away from the Jamarah.

So, the time for the pilgrim’s registration would not be extended further, it warned.

It also said that the pilgrims will be able to complete registration by paying a total of Tk2,05,000 for plane fare and Saudi expenses for each of the pilgrims. I has also refixed the pre-registration fees at Tk30,000 from existing Tk30,752 to expedite the registration process.

Source: observd