The government has extended the deadline for registration for Hajj once again to Mar 21 with the quota of pilgrims yet to be met.
An increase in travel costs amid rising inflation has frustrated potential pilgrims, forcing many to postpone their plans to perform the pilgrimage.
In this circumstance, the religious affairs ministry announced the fourth extension to the registration deadline on Thursday.
As many as 110,156 people registered until Thursday evening against a quota of 127,198 pilgrims, including 15,000 under government management, according to the registration website.
Privately run Hajj travel agencies have set the minimum price for this year’s pilgrimage package at Tk 672,618 per person, nearly Tk 150,000 up from the previous year.
The rate did not include the cost of qurbani, the animal sacrifice ritual. Each pilgrim will have to carry the money to pay for the qurbani themselves.
The minimum price for last year’s pilgrimage package under the privately-run Hajj travel agencies was set at Tk 522,744 per person.
The government’s package will cost Tk 683,018. It had announced two separate package plans last year. Package-1 was set at Tk 527,340, while package-2 at Tk 462,150.
The registration, launched on Feb 8, was supposed to end on Feb 28, but the government needed to extend the deadline three times to Mar 16 to meet the quota.
The parliamentary committee on the religious affairs ministry has recommended cutting the airfare from Tk 197,787 to Tk 150,000 to ease the pressure of increased cost.
The Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia will begin by the end of June, with the exact date subject to the appearance of the moon.