KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed 13 authorised banks to keep all their designated branches in the country open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday (February 29 and March 1, 2020).
This decision has been made in order to facilitate intending pilgrims for Hajj 2020 to deposit their application forms, along with their dues.
The 13 banks include the 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 and Meezan Bank.
The decision is part of Pakistan’s Hajj Policy 2020, which was released by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony on February 19.
The ministry had earlier authorized the above 13 banks to collect application forms, along with dues, from intending pilgrims between February 25 and March 6.
Hajj is expected to fall between July 28 and August 2 this year, though dates may vary according to the Islamic calendar.
This year, the ministry has set the quota at 179,210 pilgrims. About 60pc of the pilgrims will perform Hajj through the government scheme, while 40pc will perform it through private Hajj tour operators.