An aspirant pilgrim will have to spend a minimum of Tk 345,800 to perform hajj this year under private management, around Tk 13,000 more than the previous year.
The Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (Haab), a platform of private hajj tour operators, yesterday announced its lowest hajj package rate at a press conference at a city hotel.
Although the government has cut the airfare by Tk 10,000 for each pilgrim, each of them will have to spend Tk 13,000-Tk 20,000 more to perform the ritual this year either under government or private management.
The hikes in house rent and other service charges in Saudi Arabia have mainly contributed to the increase in total expenses, Haab Secretary General Shahadat Hossain Taslim said at the press conference.
Last year, the minimum cost for performing hajj was Tk 332,886, including an airfare of Tk 138,191. The previous year, the airfare was Tk 124,723.
In 2017, a pilgrim had to spend at least Tk 319,000 to perform hajj.
The Haab secretary general also said every pilgrim under private management would have to pay an additional Tk 11,812 for a Qurbani (sacrificing animals) coupon from the Islamic Development Bank in Saudi Arabia.
Earlier on February 11, the cabinet approved the hajj and umrah policy and the draft of the Hajj Package-2019, fixing the maximum cost at Tk 418,500 for performing hajj under government management, Tk 20,571 more than the last year.
The minimum expenses under the arrangement have been fixed at Tk 344,000, which is around Tk 13,000 more than the previous year.
As per an agreement between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, a total of 127,198 Bangladeshis will be able to perform hajj this year. Of them, 7,198 will perform the ritual under government management and the rest under private management, according to government data.