The government has cut the cost of the Hajj package by Tk 11,725 and extended the registration deadline to Mar 27 in a bid to fulfil the quota for the annual pilgrimage to Makkah.
Government-managed Hajj trips will now cost Tk 671,290 per person, while travel agencies set the minimum price for this year’s private package at Tk 660,893.
The government set the cost of the package at Tk 683,018 on Feb 1. The Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh set the minimum price at Tk 672,618 the following day, excluding the cost of cattle sacrifice.
Compared to last year, the prices were up by Tk 100,000 for government-run trips and Tk 150,000 for private packages.
Increased travel costs amid rising inflation have frustrated potential pilgrims, forcing many to postpone their plans to perform the pilgrimage.
Despite four extensions of the deadline, 115,469 people have signed up for the pilgrimage until Wednesday against a quota of 127,198 pilgrims, including 15,000 under government management, according to the registration website.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said pilgrims who already registered via government and private agencies would get a refund of money reduced by the Saudi government for the Hajj.
The ministry requested all branches of the banks involved in Hajj registration to remain open after office hours on Mar 27 until the money for the vouchers already prepared is paid.
In another statement, the ministry said those who already registered through government arrangement would receive the refund from the Hajj Office in Dhaka while receiving the refund for food. Pilgrims will receive Tk 11,725 along with Tk 35,000.