Indonesia Negotiates 2023 Hajj Cost with Saudi Arabia
30 January 2023 22:34 WIB
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs is negotiating for lower hajj costs with Saudi Arabia this year. The ministry's director for hajj services, Saiful Mujab, said that the hajj travel cost which was proposed to increase to Rp98,893,909.11, may still be changed.
"The increase in this year's hajj cost is extraordinary. We have negotiated it. The Religious Affairs Ministry keeps communicating with Saudi's hajj minister," said Saiful in a statement on Monday, January 30, 2023.
Saiful explained that the Saudi government had cut the masyair cost, which includes four-day transportation and lodging services for pilgrims from Mecca to Arafah, by 30 percent for local citizens. Therefore, Saiful expected that Indonesian pilgrims should also get the same discount.
Other than negotiating the hajj cost, Saiful said his ministry was still calculating expenses related to the hajj pilgrimage, such as the costs for transportation, food, and hotel in Saudi.
"So this cost can still be changed. If it is already determined and announced, there should be an efficient assumption because we evaluate it every year," Saiful added.
An official of the Hajj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) Indra Gunawan, hoped that the pilgrimage cost, such as airplane tickets and the living costs of pilgrims during the prayer in Saudi Arabia, can be lowered or made more efficient, so this could help the sustainability of the benefit value belonging to pilgrims. "So 5.3 million pilgrims can depart [to Saudi Arabia] this year, not only 270,000 pilgrims,” Indra concluded.
M JULNIS FIRMANSYAH
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