Hajj and Umrah Management Bill 2021 was placed in parliament today -- in principle -- to deal with irregularities and mismanagement in the sector.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan placed the bill, which was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on the respective ministry for further scrutiny.
The parliamentary watchdog was asked to submit its report within 40 days.
Hajj and umrah management in the country has worked through a policy up to now. No legal action could be taken against irregularities in many cases.
While placing the bill, the state minister said it was seen that when the government makes a move against any agency, it brings a stay order from the High Court challenging the action.
So, a legal structure is needed to deal with the hajj management, he said.
Without having registration under the proposed law, no one will be able to deal with any Haji (hajj pilgrim). And the registration authorities can take action against irregularities.
According to the bill, the registration of any hajj and umrah agency can be cancelled for anomalies.
A hajj agency can be slapped with a fine of maximum Tk 50 lakh, while an umrah agency with Tk 15 lakh for irregularities.
As per the proposed legislature, if any agency gets warnings for two years in a row, its registration will automatically be suspended for the same period. Also, lawsuits can be filed against criminal offences committed in the hajj and umrah management.
After the enactment of the new law, if a Bangladeshi gets involved in hajj-related irregularities even in Saudi Arabia, it can be treated as if it happened in Bangladesh and legal steps including criminal and administrative actions can be taken.