A third of Hajj packages allocated to Bangladesh remain unsold though the time for registration has been extended four times.
Special consideration was given for Hajj registration until Tuesday. At the end of the deadline, 4,260 had signed up for government travel packages and 78,895 had registered for private travel packages.
In 2024, Saudi Arabia had permitted 127,198 pilgrims from Bangladesh to make the trip. Of this group, 10,198 could travel using the package offered by the government, while the rest will travel under packages from private companies.
As such, 35 percent of the quota remains unfulfilled.
Registration for the Hajj trip this year began on Nov 15. The deadline was set for Dec 10. The time was extended to Dec 31 amid limited enthusiasm for the packages. The deadline was extended twice more until Jan 18 and Feb 1. A fourth extension was granted out of special consideration, with the final deadline set for Feb 6.
The Hajj may be held on Jun 16, subject to the sighting of the moon. As every year, the government and private companies announced two separate packages for the pilgrimage. The price for the general government package was set at Tk 578,840 this year. The special package was priced at Tk 936,320.
The Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh, or HAAB, set the price for general packages at Tk 589,800 and the price of special packages at Tk 699,300.
Last year, the government package was priced at Tk 683,018 and the private package at Tk 672,618.
Unable to pay the steep cost, many who had pre-registered for the pilgrimage dropped out.
The registration period was extended eight times and a special opportunity was offered for one day, but Bangladesh still fell short of its quota by 6,707.