It has been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Hajj pilgrimage. This certainly adds to the current queue of pilgrims. The Ministry of Religion (Kemenag) revealed that the longest waiting period for hajj pilgrims currently reaches 46 years, while the national average is 26 years.
“The peculiarity of the hajj funds is the long tenor period, throughout the waiting period. There are those who deposit the hajj funds, later in the next decades they will be used or when canceling the hajj registration, the longest waiting period currently reaches 46 years, the national average is 26 years,” said the secretary. General of the Ministry of Religion Nizar who read the remarks from the Minister of Religion in the webinar, quoted Tuesday (20/7/2021).
Seeing this waiting period, the Ministry of Religion has warned the Hajj Financial Management Agency (BPKH) to be careful, transparent and accountable in managing Hajj funds. Considering that currently the Hajj funds at BPKH have reached Rp 144 trillion.
“Don’t let the hajj funds be mismanaged, like in some companies, the financial managers of hajj funds. The hajj fund managers are part of the hajj organizing ecosystem,” he continued.
In addition to the waiting period, the Ministry of Religion also criticized BPKH regarding the return on investment of Hajj funds. The Ministry of Religion revealed that the return on investment in the management of hajj funds managed by BPKH was only 5.4%. This is said to be the same as when the Hajj funds were managed by the Ministry of Religion.
“On average in the range of 5.4% per year, far from what was promised when BPKH was set up, far from what was promised when a fit and proper test was carried out by the DPR and this has started to become a concern for the DPR and BPKH if they only get the same percentage of benefit value between the DPR and BPKH. Ministry of Religion,” said Nizar.
Therefore, the Ministry of Religion considers this to be detrimental to the pilgrims who have to finance the operations of the new institution, which turns out to have the same return on investment.
“We all understand that BPKH’s operational costs are taken from the investment results of Hajj funds and the amount is quite large. In 2020 alone, BPKH’s operational costs reached Rp. 291.4 billion. Now the investment returns enjoyed by pilgrims are smaller than if managed by the Ministry of Religion whose operational costs are borne by the state,” he explained.
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