Hajj 2024: Bangladesh ends Registration as 79,000 seats remain unsold

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Around 79,000 hajj quotas remained vacant as the last date of hajj registration ended yesterday.
Due to a poor response, the religious affairs ministry earlier extended the deadline for registration twice.

The ministry will hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss the overall situation and decide the next course of action, Matiul Islam, additional secretary of the ministry, told The Daily Star yesterday.

The hajj registration started on November 15 and continued till December 10. The ministry later extended the deadline till December 31, and following the poor response, extended it again till January 18.

According to the ministry, 47,773 aspirants have completed their registration, against the total quota of 1.27 lakh.

Among the registered aspirants, 3,772 will perform hajj under government management, while 44,001 under private management.

According to the agreement between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis will get the opportunity to perform hajj this year, among which 10,000 are supposed to do that under government management.

Leaders of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) and Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) expressed disappointment in this regard, saying their businesses will be affected due to the unfulfilled hajj quota.

HAAB and ATAB leaders said many are not showing interest in registering due to the high cost of hajj packages this year.

A Bangladeshi will have to spend a minimum of around Tk 6 lakh to perform hajj under private and government management this year.

A Bangladeshi pilgrim will have to spend around Tk 7 to 8 lakh on average to complete the total formalities of hajj, which has discouraged many aspirants, said HAAB and ATAB leaders.

This year, hajj is set to take place on June 16, depending on the sighting of the moon.

ATAB Secretary General Abdus Salam Aref said many travel agencies will be severely affected due to the poor response.

Meanwhile, the government could not further extend the deadline as the Saudi government has been repeatedly asking to inform them of the total number of Bangladeshi aspirants for better management of hajj this year, said Matiul Islam.

Mentionable, the country also fell short of hajj quota by around 3,500 last year.
Source: Daily Star