Thursday, May 19

Bangladesh Govt releases list of banks for Hajj fees



The Religious Affairs Ministry yesterday published a list of 24 public and private banks, where Moallem fees can be deposited by pilgrims for performing Hajj this year.

The Ministry has also prepared a list of around 650 Hajj agencies, involved in sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for this purpose. According to Ministry officials, the list will be published soon to avoid fraudulent agencies taking advantage of pilgrims by collecting Hajj fees.

Meanwhile, the list of banks has already been published on the Ministry website and sent to the Hajj agencies and authorities concerned to inform them. The Hajj office has signed an agreement with those banks on its terms and references.

The public banks allowed to receive Moallem fees consist of Sonali, Rupali, Pubali, Agrani, Bangladesh Krishi and Janata, while the private banks include Southeast, Farmers, Islami, One, Trust, Prime, Shahjalal Islami, Bank Asia, EXIM, Madhumati, Jamuna, AB Bank, Al-Arafah Islami, Premier, Mercantile, Social Islami, ICB Islamic and Standard. Select branches of these banks will receive the fees according to the agreement, the source added.

The ministry has completed its preparation to start pre-registration of Hajj pilgrims, scheduled to start at the beginning of next week.

“The ministry has prepared the lists of Hajj agencies, including banks, to ensure a clean image both at home and abroad,” Religious Affairs Ministry’s Acting Secretary Abdul Jalil told The Independent yesterday. “This year, pilgrims will be able to conduct their transactions through online banking facilities,” he said.

The list of Hajj agencies will be circulated soon, Jalil said, adding, “No errant Hajj agencies that have been penalized by the government in the past or blacklisted by the Saudi government will be allowed to send pilgrims this year.” The Secretary hoped that the Ministry would be able to start pre-registration of interested pilgrims soon. According to Ministry sources, they have prepared a list of around 650 Hajj agencies for granting permissions for pilgrims to visit Saudi Arabia. The list has already been sent to the Saudi authorities concerned. It will be published on the Ministry website with the approval of Saudi government soon, sources added.

Besides, the owners of several Hajj agencies and Bangladesh Pilgrims and Hajji Welfare Council expressed their frustration over the dilemma of starting pre-registration of pilgrims. Council President Abdullah Al Naser, in a statement, urged the government to start the pre-registration immediately so that pilgrims can enroll without any problem.

He also requested the government not to permit illegal Hajj Qafellas, who take less than the government Hajj package amount from the pilgrims. He said it causes harassment for pilgrims during the Hajj period.