The “Hajj and Umrah Management Bill-2021” has been passed in the Parliament today. According to the bill, the government will form a national committee to manage the Hajj. Hajj and Umrah agencies have to register according to the conditions.
The passed bill says that if someone goes to Saudi Arabia and cheats after the Hajj agreement is signed, the crime will be considered as ‘committed in Bangladesh’ and will be tried according to this law.
To get registered, Hajj Agency must have three years of experience and Umrah Agency must have two years of experience in running a travel agency.
If the Hajj agencies commit irregularities, their registration will be canceled and a maximum fine of Tk 50 lakh will be imposed. And if the Umrah agency commits irregularities, they will be fined up to a maximum of Tk 15 lakh for losing the registration. There are also penalties for forfeiture of bail, suspension of registration, warning and reprimand. If an agency is reprimanded twice in a row, its registration will automatically be suspended for two years. If the registration of an agency is canceled, the partners or proprietors of that agency will never get the registration of Hajj or Umrah agency later. Cannot be involved in the work of any other agency.
Regarding the purpose and reasons of the bill, the state minister said, “Currently, there is no statutory law on the management of Hajj and Umrah. These activities are being conducted with executive orders, policies, circulars etc. The need for statutory laws and regulations in this regard has been felt for a long time.
“If the responsibilities of the ministries, departments and other government agencies involved in Hajj management are clarified through legal rules and regulations, it will help to make Hajj management more efficient and dynamic.”
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, only 1,000 people had the opportunity to perform the Hajj last year. In normal times, about two million Muslims would gather in Saudi Arabia every year for the Hajj.
This year too, Saudi Arabia has limited the scope of Hajj to its citizens and those staying there. So, this year too Bangladeshis are not able to go for Hajj.