Dhaka seeks reconsidering 20pc cut in Hajj pilgrims quota
Bangladesh has urged Saudi authorities reconsider the 20 percent cut in quota of foreign Hajj pilgrims, requesting the country to take 130,000 pilgrims this year, according to official sources here.
The two countries are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today determining the number of Hajj pilgrims, a source at the Ministry of Religious Affairs told The Daily Star.
The Bangladesh authorities have also urged their Saudi counterparts to implement an electronic web portal service for Hajj from this year to expedite various Hajj processes, the official added.
Saudi newspaper Arab News reported quoting Mohammad Nazmul Islam, Bangladesh consul general, that Bangladesh's Religious Affairs Minister Matiur Rahman discussed the issues with Saudi Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar Sunday when he met with him at his office in Jeddah.
“We discussed a wide range of subjects related to improvement of Hajj services to pilgrims, including introduction of the electronic Web portal and also the need to restore actual quota” Nazmul Islam said.
The Hajj ministry had informed him that the 20 percent reduction in quota would be applied not only this year but also next year due to the expansion project at the Grand Mosque.
The Bangladesh minister welcomed the Saudi authorities’ efforts to ensure a smooth Hajj and for the concern and care for visiting Hajj pilgrims, according to the Saudi newspaper.
The Bangladesh government has expressed its thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for taking up the expansion project that will accommodate more pilgrims besides making rituals easy to perform, the Hajj ministry said.
A Hajj ministry official said the quota for Bangladesh was 101,000 which both sides had signed.