SBP Directs Banks to Open on Saturday and Sunday to Receive Hajj Applications

SBP Directs Banks to Open on Saturday and Sunday to Receive Hajj Applications

Karachi, December 8, 2023 – In an effort to streamline the application process for Hajj 2024, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed 15 authorized banks to open their branches on both Saturday and Sunday.

The move comes as part of the SBP’s commitment to facilitate intending pilgrims in submitting their applications and dues for the upcoming Hajj season.

Responding to a request from the Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony, the SBP has mandated that the designated branches of the authorized banks remain open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on December 9, 2023 (Saturday) and December 10, 2023 (Sunday) across the country.

This directive aligns with the ongoing Hajj Policy, where the Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony has enlisted 15 banks for the collection of application forms and dues from intending pilgrims for Hajj 2024. The authorized 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, and Bank Islami.

As per the Hajj Policy, these banks have been authorized to receive application forms and payments from intending pilgrims starting from November 27, 2023, until December 12, 2023. The extension of banking hours to include weekends is a proactive step by the SBP to ensure that individuals seeking to perform Hajj in 2024 have ample opportunity to complete their application process without any inconvenience.

The decision to open bank branches on the weekend is expected to accommodate a higher number of applicants, providing greater accessibility and flexibility for those intending to embark on the sacred journey of Hajj. This move emphasizes the collaborative efforts of both the financial sector and the Ministry of Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony to facilitate a smooth and efficient application process for the upcoming pilgrimage season.

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