254 going to Hajj at govt expense, Tk 11.33cr to be spent
A total of 254 people are going to perform hajj at the expense of Bangladesh government this year.
According to sources, the government will have to spend around Tk 11.33 crore from the public exchequer to meet the expenses of their pilgrimage.
Government gives this opportunity to people from different sections every year.
However, sources involved in preparing the list told The Daily Star that, supporters and sympathisers of the ruling Awami League, and those who are close to the state minister for religious affairs, are given priority.
This year at least 33 people from Jamalpur-2, the electoral constituency of the state minister for religious affairs Faridul Haque Khan, are among the 254, according to the list.
Reviewing the list, it was seen that at least 150 of the names are of leaders and activists of Awami League and like-minded parties and their family members.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Religious Affairs released the list of the pilgrims performing hajj at government expenses. They will perform hajj under the government's hajj package-2.
However, as per the instruction of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, this year the selected persons will have to pay Tk 1,40,000 as airfare, an official of the religious affairs ministry told this correspondent.
According to the ministry's circular, they will have to pay and submit a pay-order of the amount for the airfare.
Failure to submit the pay-order will result in suspension of his/her visa process. Also, their potential flight will be operated from July 7 onwards.
According to the bilateral agreement between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, a total of 57,585 Bangladeshis will be able to perform hajj this year likely to be held on July 8 depending on sighting of the moon.