The government had to extend the registration deadline eight times as the price of the Hajj package went up by Tk 150,000 – Tk 200,000
Bangladesh has yet to fulfil the quota for Hajj registrations even after authorities extended the deadline eight times.
As many as 127,198 pilgrims from Bangladesh are allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual Islamic ritual this year. They include 15,000 pilgrims who will travel under the government’s travel package, while the other trips are managed by privately-run Hajj travel agencies.
The registration began on Feb 8 and ended on Tuesday, Apr 11 after eight extensions of the deadline.
The government had to extend the registration deadline as demand fell after the price of the Hajj package went up by Tk 150,000-Tk 200,000.
Only 119,695 pilgrims have registered for the pilgrimage so far.
Among them, 10,035 registered under the government’s travel package, while 109,660 pilgrims registered under privately-run Hajj travel agencies. Another 7,503 pilgrims are needed to fulfil the quota.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan recently said at an event that some Hajj pilgrims from different organisations will be registering at the last moment. Therefore, the quota will be fulfilled, he said.
The state minister, however, could not give the number of pilgrims going for Hajj as guides and Hajj agency coordinators.
The Hajj registration for 2023 has ended and the registration server has been closed, the Ministry of Religious Affairs said in a notice on Wednesday.
Those Hajj travel agencies sending fewer than 97 #Hajj pilgrims must select a lead agency and coordinate by Thursday. They must coordinate and send the final quota information to Saudi Arabia’s e-Hajj system including the number of guides and coordinators against the Hajj agencies.
After the final quota information is sent to Saudi Arabia, the system will be opened to the Hajj pilgrims using private travel packages to collect their pilgrim IDs, the ministry said.
A separate notice from the ministry on Wednesday said that the application process for the biometric visa for Hajj pilgrims registered for 2023 will start on Apr 16 across the country.
Those pilgrims travelling under the government package can apply for the biometric visa at the Islamic Foundation offices in every district, the Islamic Foundation office in Dhaka’s Agargaon, Islamic Foundation Baitul Mukarram Mosque Complex, Waqf Administrator’s office and at the Ashkona Hajj office.
They can apply for biometric visas, submit their passports at those centres, and collect receipts.
Pilgrims travelling under privately-run hajj agencies may apply for biometric visas via private agencies and also at the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh office.
They must deposit their passports to their respective agencies after they apply for the biometric visa, the notice said. The deadline for the visa application is Apr 30.
The Hajj will be held around Jun 27 with the exact date depending on the sighting of the moon.