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Saturday May 18, 2024

Hajj 2023: SBP directs banks to remain open on Saturday, Sunday to facilitate pilgrims

Branches of authorised banks will remain open from 9am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday throughout the country

By Web Desk
March 24, 2023
Worshippers perform the farewell tawaf in the holy Saudi city of Mecca on July 11, 2022, marking the end of this year´s Hajj. — AFP
Worshippers perform the farewell tawaf in the holy Saudi city of Mecca on July 11, 2022, marking the end of this year´s Hajj. — AFP

In order to facilitate pilgrims, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday announced that all branches of authorised banks would remain open on Saturday and Sunday (March 25-26) for the collection of Hajj Application forms along with dues for Hajj 2023.

“In order to facilitate the intending pilgrims to deposit application forms along with dues for Hajj 2023, State Bank of Pakistan has directed 14 authorised banks to keep all their designated branches open [...] throughout the country,” the central bank said in a statement issued in this regard.

It should be noted that these branches will remain open from 9am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday throughout the country.

Earlier, in terms of Hajj Policy 2023, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony has authorised 14 banks to collect application forms along with dues from intending pilgrims for Hajj 2023 with effect from March 16 till March 31 throughout the country.

The authorised banks include:

  • 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

ECC approves Hajj policy

Earlier this month, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet gave its nod to the Hajj policy 2023 and agreed to provide foreign exchange cover of $90 million.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony presented a summary to this effect before the cabinet committee meeting held with Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar in the chair.

The hajj quota allocated to Pakistan for the year 2023 is 179,210, which would be distributed between the government and private hajj schemes at a ratio of 50:50, according to a statement issued by the finance ministry.

Out of the government and private hajj schemes, a quota of 50% each would be reserved for sponsorship scheme, it said adding for the year 2023, the tentative hajj package for the Northern region is Rs1,175,000 and for the South Region is Rs1,165,000.