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Jakarta Post

No haj funds invested in infrastructure, official says

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 24, 2019   /   02:48 pm
No haj funds invested in infrastructure, official says Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at Al Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Sept.7, 2016. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Haj Fund Management Agency (BPKH) head Anggito Abimanyu denied on Thursday speculation that haj funds had been used to invest in infrastructure projects, stressing that the majority of the funds had been invested in debt papers and bank deposits.

“I assure you, not a single rupiah of the funds were invested in infrastructure,” said Anggito in Jakarta as quoted by kontan.co.id.

He explained that 50 percent of the funds, which were expected to increase to Rp 121 trillion (US$8.55 billion) this year from Rp 113 trillion last year, were invested in banks, while another 50 percent were invested in other instruments.

He went on further to say that 50 percent of the funds, were invested in sharia banks, 30 percent in sharia debt papers, while only 20 percent directly in a number of projects related to haj facilities.

“For the direct investment, the BPKH prioritizes investments that are linked to the interests of haj pilgrims, like hotels, airlines and catering,” he added.

Speculation surrounding to the investment of haj funds in infrastructure projects were seemingly triggered triggered by a statement made by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in April, 2018, in which he said that the government had planned to use the funds to finance various national projects through the non-state budget investment financing (PINA) scheme.

“Through PINA, investment is only for low-risk projects, but with optimal returns and abiding by sharia principles,” the President said in a statement published on the State Secretariat website.

However, the government is likely to cancel the plan following mixed reactions among the public.  (bbn)