Haj 2024: SBP directs banks to remain open on weekend

SPB directs banks to keep designated branches operational on weekend from 9am to 2pm

By Web Desk
December 08, 2023
Worshippers pray around the Khana-e-Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on the first day of Eid ul Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on April 21, 2023. — AFP

In order to cater to aspirant pilgrims, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Friday directed the authorised banks to keep their designated branches open for the collection of Haj 2024 applications throughout the country.

As per the issued notification, will remain operational on Saturday and Sunday — December 9-10 — from 9am to 2pm to recieve Haj 2024 application forms.

The ministry, which opened Haj 2024 registration on November 27, has authorized 15 banks namely National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank, United Bank, MCB Bank, Allied Bank, Bank of Punjab, Bank Alfalah, Zarai Taraqiati Bank, Faysal Bank, Askari Bank, Bank Al-Habib, Habib Metropolitan Bank, Soneri Bank, Meezan Bank and Bank Islami to collect application forms for Haj 2024 till December 12.

About 89,605 Pakistanis will perform Haj under the government scheme next year at a cost of Rs1,075,000.

The government has introduced both long and short-term packages spanning over 38 to 42 and 20 to 25 days, respectively.

Meanwhile, women, for the first time in history, will have the opportunity to undertake the sacred journey without the traditional requirement of a male companion.

Furthermore, the government would provide free-of-cost mobile SIMs with roaming internet packages to the Pakistani pilgrims.

It is to be noted that the applications can be submitted on a passport valid till December 16, 2024, and the Haj application can also be processed on a passport application token.

Moreover, coronavirus vaccination requirement has also been abolished by the Saudi government for the next year's pilgrimage.