Tk 1.40 lakh airfare for Hajj pilgrims illogical and unethical: HAAB
Published : Friday, 24 January, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 94
Claiming the plane fare fixed for the Hajj pilgrims as 'illogical and unethical', the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) on Thursday demanded to refix the fare. At the same time, the apex body of the country's Hajj agents sought the Prime Minister's interference in this regard.
"Although the jet fuel price has decreased this year in the global market and no new charges or taxes were imposed, the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry has fixed the plane fare for the Bangladeshi pilgrims at Tk 1.40 lakh increasing Tk 12,000 bypassing the disagreement of the Religious Affairs Ministry and HAAB. The decision was 'illogical and unethical'," said HAAB President Shahadat Hossain Taslim at a press conference held at its Nayapaltan office.
He also demanded refixing the plane fare for the dedicated flight passengers and schedule flight passengers separately.
Taslim said although performance of the Hajj is mandatory for the solvent and strong people, the HAAB doesn't want to misuse the money of a pilgrim unnecessarily.
"The jet fuel price is now per liter US$ 0.58, which was around US$ 0.71 in last year. At the same time, other charges and taxes were also not increased. Although the price reduced by US$ 0.13 per liter, the ministry has decided to increase the plane fare at Tk 1.40 lakh hiking it by Tk 12,000 per person instead of decreasing the price," he added.
He also said that opposing the Civil Aviation Ministry proposal to increase the air fare, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md. Abdullah walked out from an inter-ministerial level meeting held at the Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday.
They will not comply with the Civil Aviation Ministry decision unless the plane fare is reduced. At the same time, they will not co-operate the ministries to finalise the Hajj package this year until the decision is changed, he added.
With the decision of the Bangladeshi pilgrims will have to pay Tk 164.4 crore extra. It will go to the pockets of Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines. Although the Saudi Airlines authority doesn't want they will get extra Tk 82.20 crore for increase of plane fare.