Religious ministry denies diverting Hajj funds for new capital project

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on Tuesday denied claims that hajj funds collected from pilgrims are being used to finance the construction of the new capital of Nusantara (IKN). He insisted that the ministry never diverted hajj funds to other projects.

“This is patently false, in fact, the government Hajj fund management agency (BPKH) subsidizes hajj pilgrims to help ease the financial burden of hajj participants,” Minister Yaqut said at Merdeka Palace in central Jakarta on May 17.

Moreover, BPKH leader Anggito Abimanyu explained that the government subsidizes more than half of the pilgrims’ expenses, which amounts to 81.7 million rupees per person.

“Or Rp7.5 trillion that has been prepared. Hajj pilgrims only have to pay around 39.9 million rupees and this respects what the government and legislature have agreed on,” Abimanyu said.

Minister Yaqut and Anggito were present today at the meeting with President Jokowi, which specifically deals with preparations for the 2022 Hajj pilgrimage. The minister says the government is ready to help transport and serve the pilgrims on their religious trip to Mecca, which had been abandoned for the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Read: Cost of Hajj pilgrimage 2022 set at Rs 39.8 million

Mr JULNIS FIRMANSYAH

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