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Global - June 29, 2022

HAJJ 2022: Indonesia rejects 10000 additional slots offer from Saudi Arabia

 

 

The Religious Affairs Ministry has decided to decline the extra Hajj quota of 10 thousand pilgrims offered by Saudi authorities due to insufficient time to prepare for the departure of additional pilgrims.

Director general of Hajj and Umrah at the ministry, Hilman Latief, said that the Saudi authorities notified the government about the additional quota on June 21, 2022.

“The Religious Affairs Ministry has continued intensive communication with the relevant authorities, including the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry, after receiving an official letter from the Saudi authority informing about the offer of 10 thousand extra Hajj quotas (for Indonesia),” Latief informed here on Wednesday.

He said that as per the prevailing procedure and regulations, the authority does not have sufficient time to prepare for additional Hajj embarkations, particularly as the last day for processing Hajj visas is Wednesday and the closing date for pilgrims’ departure is July 3.

“This means, from today, we only have five days remaining. This will not be sufficient to process the extra Hajj quota. Even from the date when we received the notification on June 22, we had only ten days. The time is not enough,” the director general added.

The government also would not be able to send pilgrims who have taken the special Hajj package, as the special Hajj organizers will need preparation time, he said.

“(Processes that they must do) include the refunding of special Hajj travel fees from the Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) to respective special Hajj organizer, managing travel tickets and service contracts in Saudi Arabia, and data input to the E-Hajj system and visa application,” Latief informed.

The director general said that the process of sending Hajj pilgrims from Indonesia will have to start with deliberations with Commission VIII of the House of Representatives (DPR RI), whose resolution would translate into presidential and ministerial decisions regarding the extra Hajj quota.

The ministry will then have to restart the process of verifying the data of eligible pilgrims before announcing the official list of pilgrims who can depart and must pay their Hajj fee, he added.

While prospective Hajj pilgrims make their Hajj fee payment, the authority will need to manage Hajj documents and service contracts with Saudi providers before allowing pilgrims to depart for Saudi Arabia, Latief said.

SOURCE: ANTARA NEWS

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