PAN Politician Considers Proposed Hike in 2023 Hajj Costs Too High

Monday, January 23, 2023

TEMPO. CO, Jakarta - The National Mandate Party (PAN) faction of the House of Representatives (DPR) urged the Ministry of Religious Affairs to reconsider the proposal to increase the 2023 pilgrimage costs. The faction chairman Saleh Partaonan Daulay assessed that the hike reaching almost Rp30 million would burden would-be pilgrims.

“The proposed increase is too high. It must be burdensome. With the largest number of pilgrims in the world, Indonesia's Hajj Organizing Cost (BPIH) should not need a raise. The Ministry of Religious Affairs must recalculate in detail the structure cost of BPIH. Savings can be made in every detail of the structure cost,” said Saleh in his statement, Monday, January 23, 2023.

He explained that there are 203,320 regular pilgrims per year. If there is an increase of Rp30 million per pilgrim, then the collected funds amount to Rp14.06 trillion.

Moreover, he said, the Hajj Financial Management Agency (BPKH) managed Rp5.9 trillion of the benefits of hajj funds.

“The total funds used from congregational funds are more than Rp20 trillion per year. Meanwhile, there is another cost for organizing the hajj from the State Budget of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Rp1.27 trillion and the Ministry of Health of Rp283 billion,” Saleh added.

On the other hand, Saleh argued that based on the budget use and the current situation in society, the proposal to increase the hajj pilgrimage costs is not wise because people are still trying to restore their economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PAN politician said BPKH should be able to increase the value of the benefits of the congregation's savings funds. He opined that the higher the value of the benefits obtained, the lighter the burden on pilgrims to cover the pilgrimage costs.

“BPKH seems to have not shown good achievements. The management of congregational savings is not much different from before this agency existed. So it's reasonable that people question the financial management entrusted to this agency,” he said.

If the hajj pilgrimage costs are increased, Saleh is concerned about the assumption in society that hajj funds are used for infrastructure development. Thus, he called for transparent and professional management of funds.

“BPKH and the Ministry of Religious Affairs should answer and clarify [this issue] so that it is clear and more transparent,” Saleh concluded.