Hajj 2022: Indonesia to renegotiate cost of services in Mina
Minister of Religion Yaqut Cholil Qoumas said he has invited Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Tawfiq F. Rabiah to Indonesia to negotiate regarding the cost of Masyair or the congregation’s accommodation service from Mecca to Arafah.
“In an informal manner, I spoke with the Minister of Hajj Saudi and invited him to Indonesia. I mean, I want to negotiate here. God willing, he will come to Indonesia on October 10. So that’s our opportunity,” said Minister of Religion Yaqut during an evaluation meeting with Commission VIII DPR RI in Jakarta, Antara, Wednesday, August 31.
The Minister of Religion’s statement responded to questions from a number of members of the Indonesian House of Representatives regarding Masyair’s costs and considered that the Ministry of Religion’s efforts to negotiate were deemed insufficient. The implementation of the 1443 Hijri Hajj for Masyair costs increased from SAR1,800 to SAR5,656 or equivalent to Rp21.76 million per person.
This condition makes the cost of organizing Hajj (BPIH) increase. Yaqut said when the Saudi authorities announced the increase in Masyair’s costs, the Ministry of Religion immediately responded by raising a protest note to negotiate directly. From the results of these negotiations, the Ministry of Religion did not receive satisfactory reciprocal from the Minister of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia. “Initially they set a price of 6,000 Saudi Riyal. We negotiated tough, there was only a small drop.
We repeated this (negotiations) when the Masyair procession was completed, after I finished, I insisted on asking to meet again,”. In addition, the Ministry of Religion also protested to the Saudi Arabian authorities regarding the facilities obtained by the pilgrims during Masyair. “We say, when we pay a lot, but all we get is a tiny mattress, a toilet that is not added. We convey it and it is only answered gently. Yes, later if the congregation increases, the crowds will go down, that’s the answer we received at that time,” said the Minister of Religion.
Therefore, the Ministry of Religion will invite the Minister of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia to Indonesia to negotiate so that the cost of Masyair in the implementation of the 1444 Hijri/2023 AD Hajj can be further suppressed. The Ministry of Religion will also request that the 65 year age limit be lifted. The reason is, Indonesian pilgrims over the age of 65 total seven hundred thousand people. If this restriction continues to be applied, the opportunity for the elderly to go to Hajj will be reduced. “His response only said that God willing, this will be a consideration regarding the Hajj for the elderly over 65 years with a certain quota, and we will see this and collect it (at the time of the meeting),” he said.
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