The Jakarta Post
The National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) says the haj cost could be reduced to Rp 17 million (US$1,274) from the current Rp 34 million if the new Haj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) invested funds wisely.
Bappenas head/National Development Planning Minister Bambang Prodjonegoro suggested in Yogyakarta recently that the agency could invest haj funds –haj down payments collected from people registering for the haj – in sukuk.
The waiting period for the haj is 15 to 20 years.
“The BPKH is new so it doesn't have experience in purchasing shares. But it could buy sukuk issued for infrastructure projects,” Bambang said, adding that the BPKH could buy sukuk issued to finance power plant construction.Read also: Indonesia aims to have world largest haj fund in 10 years
With wise management of the haj fund, the BPKH could gain good returns that would in turn help people pay less for the haj, he said
“So if you want to go on the haj, you need only pay Rp 17 million, instead of Rp 34 million,” he said, adding that Malaysia's Tabung Haji, which was established in 1963, had managed to gain good returns by investing haj funds.
Previously, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the haj fund had reached Rp 99.30 trillion, but only Rp 36.70 trillion could be invested, while another Rp 62.6 trillion had been deposited in sharia banks. (bbn)