M Julnis Firmansyah, Jakarta – Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas on Tuesday denied allegations claiming that the hajj funds collected from pilgrims are used to finance the construction of the New Capital City of Nusantara (IKN). He insisted that the Ministry never diverted hajj funds to other projects.
"That is blatantly untrue, in fact, the government's Hajj fund management agency (BPKH) is subsidizing hajj pilgrims to help lighten the financial loads of the hajj participants," said Minister Yaqut at the Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta on May 17.
Moreover, the head of the BPKH, Anggito Abimanyu, explained that the government is subsidizing more than half of the expenses of the pilgrims, which amounts to Rp81.7 million per person.
"Or Rp7.5 trillion that have been prepared. Hajj pilgrims only need to pay around Rp39.9 million and it adheres to what the government and legislative body agreed upon," Abimanyu.
Minister Yaqut and Anggito today were present at the meeting with President Jokowi, which specifically discusses the preparation of the 2022 Hajj pilgrimage. The Minister claims the government is prepared to help transport and serve the pilgrims during their religious journey to Mecca, which had been abandoned in the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions.