Govt planning to increase Hajj pilgrims’ quota to 50pc
Published : Tuesday, 1 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 165
The Religious Affairs Ministry is planning to increase the quota for the pilgrims intended to perform Hajj under the government management to 50 percent.
At present a very small number of pilgrims go to Saudi Arabia under the government management out of the quota allocated for Bangladesh.
Terming the Hajj management for the government-managed pilgrims 'better' State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah on Monday gave the announcement while addressing a press conference in his ministry conference room at Secretariat.
The press conference was organised to brief media about the success of his ministry and relevant offices in Hajj management, 2019. The annual ritual of the Muslims started on Friday, August 9 this year, where pilgrims walked counterclockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure at the center of the Grand Mosque of Makka.
According to the Religious Affairs Ministry and Hajj Office of Ashkona, a total of 1, 27,152 pilgrims including the members of several Hajj management teams went to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj.
Of them, 1, 26,923 pilgrims went under the government and private management.
A total of 598 registered Hajj agencies sent 1, 19,686 pilgrims under private management against its quota of 1, 20,000 while 6,916 pilgrims went under the government management against its quota of 7,198 pilgrims.
Of the government pilgrims, 1,000 more went as management team's member.
When asked, how the government will get around 63,500 pilgrims for performing Hajj under government management, the state minister said, "It's our target."
The government managed pilgrims had enjoyed various facilities and care from the authorities concerned, he said. "We have ensured it."
The junior minister claimed that during the Hajj season this year, no one had to cry for being cheated with the Hajj agencies. If there was any they went to Saudi Arabia under special arrangement. As a result, almost every one, who had valid documents, could perform Hajj smoothly.
"We had tried to manage the things properly. As a result, we didn't need to punish any Hajj agencies. We had monitored the entire Hajj process and ensured all facilities for the pilgrims under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
"This year, the Saudi Arabian authority has increased various fees. As a result, despite having steps, the pilgrims had to pay around Tk35, 000 extra. We are trying to lessen it further," he said.