Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government has sought an average Hajj Organizing Cost (BPIH) of Rp105 million (US$6,682) per person for the Hajj pilgrimage in 2024.

"For the implementation of Hajj pilgrimage in 2024, the government is proposing an average BPIH per pilgrim of Rp105,095,032," Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas stated at a joint working meeting with Commission VIII of the House of Representatives here on Monday.

The figure is higher than previous year's Hajj cost of Rp90 million (US$5,727) per person.

BPIH is the funds utilized for organizing the Hajj pilgrimage. BPIH can be interpreted as the total costs that should be incurred for the implementation of Hajj pilgrimage and is managed by the government every Hajj season.

Qoumas explained that the BPIH was planned using the assumption of the rupiah exchange rate of Rp16 thousand against the US dollar and Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR) rate at Rp4,266 against the rupiah.

Meanwhile, the Hajj pilgrims' living cost is set at 750 SAR, the same as last year's implementation of Hajj pilgrimage that will be paid in SAR to protect pilgrims from exchange rate fluctuations.

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"BPIH is grouped into two components, (with) one component that is charged directly to Hajj pilgrims (Bipih) and another component that is charged to the fund of benefit value (optimization)," he stated.

According to Qoumas, formulation of the BPIH component is aimed at balancing the burden on pilgrims with sustainability of the benefit value in future.

"Bipih charges must maintain the principle of istithaah and liquidity in organizing the Hajj pilgrimage in the following years," he affirmed.

Istithaah is the physical, mental, financial, and safe ability of a person to perform the pilgrimage without neglecting his or her familial responsibilities.

The BPIH budget includes the components of flight costs, accommodation, meals, transportation, Armuzna or the peak of Hajj pilgrimage, embarkation and disembarkation, immigration, travel documents, and living costs.

Chairman of Commission VIII Ashabul Kahfi stated that the proposed BPIH would be discussed further in the House's working committee on BPIH.

(Current exchange rate, $1 = 15,714.35 Indonesian rupiah)

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Translator: Sri Haryati, Asep Firmansyah
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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