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Hike in prices of Hajj package this year

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KUWAIT CITY, Apr 26: After two years of hiatus, Hajj offices have started preparing themselves, with some of them sending WhatsApp messages to those wishing to perform Hajj in order to reserve places for them in return for a downpayment of KD 1,000. The price of the Hajj package starts from KD 3,700 per person and can reach up to 6,000, reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting informed sources.

They revealed that the number of those authorized to perform Hajj this year has been reduced to about 3,600 citizens only.

The sources held the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs responsible for the high costs due to its mismanagement of the numbers allowed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its distribution to Hajj offices that monopolize this matter, as well as not allowing the concept of supply and demand to take its course, which leads to the offices’ agreement to extend their appetites to raise prices in an unjustified manner.

They said the prices may reach KD 6,000 this year right under the eyes of the officials of the ministry, and “with their complicity” by plotting against the pockets of citizens.

The sources warned against the continuation of the ministry’s approach to selling Hajj permits – a crime that it commits every year.

They expressed their astonishment at the large number of people allocated to each office, as well as the high costs of flight tickets.

The sources revealed that the owner of one of the offices hired 18 other offices to impose the price he desires on those wishing to perform the ritual. This can be described as “greed and exploitation of people’s keenness to perform the duty”.

They added, “The manipulation by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs continues. It never stopped despite the succession of ministers. This facilitated the spread of sidewalk offices that are now sponsored by the ministry in secret but which they claim to fight in public”.

The sources declared that the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Issa Al-Kandari will hold a meeting with the Undersecretary of the ministry Farid Emadi and the ministry’s legal advisors in order to discuss the legal measures available to be taken in this regard, as Hajj-related matters are covered by law and not by a ministerial decision.

They highlighted the minister’s refusal to be exploited, and the need to take the measures authorized by law against the violating Hajj travel offices

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