Opposing the proposed air fare hike for hajj pilgrims this year, the Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) urged the government even to revise the last year's fare downward.
Terming the proposed hike in the air fare of Biman Bangladesh Airlines 'illogical and unethical', the HAAB at a press conference on Thursday said it would put an adverse impact on overall hajj management, according to a statement.
"There is no justification for increasing the air fare, as the Saudi government did not increase any tax nor the fuel price went up in the last year," the HAAB President M Shahadat Hossain said.
The air fare usually increases due to hike in jet fuel price, he said adding that the price of per litre fuel decreased to Cent 58 this year from Cent 71 previously.
However, the government has decided to increase the both-way fare by Tk 12,000 to Tk 1,40,000 this year from Tk 1,28,000 in last year, he added.
"We are responsible for ensuring better management for hajj pilgrims, who are the guests of Allah," he further added.
He mentioned that with the government's intervention the hajj management has improved significantly in the last couple of years.
The HAAB president sought the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's intervention in this regard.