Monday 16 May 2022 ,
Monday 16 May 2022 ,
Latest News
6 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM
Print

New law to regulate Hajj, Umrah, and pvt agencies

ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN, Dhaka

The government is finally going to enact a law to regulate Hajj, Umrah, and private agencies as the religious affairs ministry has finalised a draft in this regard. A ministry official expressed hope that the proposed law would be placed before the Cabinet for approval this month (March). The management of Hajj and Umrah has been conducted under a policy since the independence of Bangladesh. The new law will bring about discipline in Hajj management, with provisions for punishment of Hajj-operating agencies that violate the terms of their appointment, conditions of their contract, and promises made in their Hajj package for pilgrims, sources said.

The religious affairs ministry has been carrying out Hajj activities only on the basis of a Hajj policy for the past 50 years. There is no law to regulate the activities of Hajj-operating agencies to prevent the suffering and harassment of Bangladeshi pilgrims.

While talking to The Independent, the official expressed the hope that Hajj activities would be

conducted under the new law starting next year.

However, it is also alleged that many stakeholders relating to Hajj and Umrah are not interested in enacting a law to punish corrupt Hajj agency owners, even after they violate rules and regulations of Hajj activities.

“We have finalised the draft law, which is now being vetted. We hope the proposed draft law will be placed before the Cabinet before March 17 for approval. Later, the law will be sent to Parliament for being passed,” additional secretary (Hajj), ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, told The Independent yesterday (Thursday).

Without giving details, he said there are many novelties in the proposed law.

“The present act on Hajj management is very old. It was enacted during the British period. India has twice amended its laws on Hajj regulations,” the additional secretary said.

The government releases a Hajj policy each year just before the pilgrimage season, ignoring the sufferings of the Hajjis.

If any agency owner is involved in corruption, fraudulence, and human trafficking in the name of conducting Hajj and Umrah, a show-cause notice is served on them, sources said, adding that the highest punishment is cancellation of licence and seizure of deposit.

According to ministry sources, each of the agency owners has several licences. If one is cancelled, he or she runs the business with another licence.

Owing to the lack of a proper law, pilgrims under private management suffer immensely due to the negligence, recklessness, omission, and default of Hajj agencies to provide proper services, the sources said. They added that after taking money from the pilgrims, these agencies do not provide services as promised in various contracts and Hajj packages.

A section of agency owners and some ministry employees consider the Hajj season as a “money-making season”, instead of considering it a holy task, the ministry sources said. On April 15, 2008, the law ministry had sent a proposal to the Law Commission for enacting a law to regulate Hajj activities.

“We too want a law in keeping with the time to regulate agencies. But the law should also protect our interests,” Shahadat Hossain Taslim, president of the Hajj Agencies’ Association of Bangladesh (HAAB), told this correspondent.

He said HAAB is always ready to cooperate with the government to bring discipline in the religious affairs sector, including proper regulation of Hajj and Umrah.

Corrupt people have no place in this sector as the HAAB wants to provide the best services to each pilgrim, Taslim added.

Comments

More Front Page stories
Goodbye, captain Bangladesh pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, one of the country's biggest sports stars, stepped down yesterday as captain of the national one-day side, possibly ending his international career. Today's…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting