The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry’s director general of Hajj and Umrah (PHU) Hilman Latief on Tuesday explained the reason why Religious Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas suggested a price increase in the government-funded Hajj pilgrimage program. This attracted public attention after it was revealed that the Minister’s suggestion coincided with Saudi Arabia reducing prices of Hajj services by 30 percent for domestic pilgrims.
“Hajj [cost] this year has dropped by 30 percent for local or domestic pilgrims because there were many Saudi pilgrims who were not able [to perform Hajj],” said Hilman at Central Jakarta’s Borobudur Hotel on January 24.
According to him, the total cost of a Hajj pilgrimage reaches a total of Rp50 million per person and encapsulates the costs for the four-day journey from Mecca to the Arafah desert. Hilman also claimed the Saudi government reduced the cost of Hajj for locals to meet the one million pilgrim quota.
“Saudi Arabia intends to meet the 1 million Hajj pilgrim quota, which includes locals,” said Hilman.
He clarified that the cost reduction will not apply to those who are not Saudi citizens and that the cost of the Hajj pilgrimage for global communities has been increased by Rp20 million. This increase has also motivated the plan to bump up the total cost for government-funded Hajj travel from Rp69 million to 98.8 million.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony said Monday that those performi…