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Jakarta Post

House rejects plan to use haj fund for infrastructure

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 31, 2017   /   05:29 pm
House rejects plan to use haj fund for infrastructure Haj pilgrims from Sumenep, Madura, board a plane at Juanda International Airport in Sidoarjo regency, East Java, on Aug. 9. (JP/Wahyoe Boediwardhana)

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Agus Hermanto opposed the government's plan to use the country's haj fund as a source of financing for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's infrastructure projects.

Agus, a politician from the Democratic Party, said that the law on the management of the haj fund had stipulated that it should only be used for projects aimed at improving services for pilgrims.

"The law has details on how the fund should be used and that it should only be aimed at improving services for pilgrims. We can use the fund for building dormitories for pilgrims, but not toll roads," Agus said as quoted by on Monday.

Agus also said that the state budget had allocated money for infrastructure projects so the government could be more prudent in its spending. "We can also use funds from state-owned enterprises, investments, or private funding," Agus said.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) proposed in January that the Finance Ministry should use the proceeds of the haj fund to finance infrastructure projects, or channel the funds toward infrastructure spending. (mtr)