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Haj subsidy: Targeted aid to ensure funds go to the right people, says Minister

Publish date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023, 01:36 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The targeted financial assistance to perform the haj was introduced to ensure that the aid can be enjoyed by the right individuals, says the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs).

Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar (pic) said that the targeted assistance is also able to help Tabung Haji (TH) cover the operational costs while ensuring its financial sustainability.

“TH introduced Haj Financial Support (Hafis) in 2001, which is fully funded by its investment income. Until 2022, a total of RM2.2bil has been used for financial support," he said.

“While the assistance will be continued, TH will still encourage future pilgrims from the B40 and M40 groups to voluntarily pay the extra costs," added Mohd Na'im.

He said that forecasts show that the costs of Hafis will reach around RM500mil if no review is done on the expenditure.

He said this in response to Datuk Ahmad Saad @ Yahaya (PN-Pokok Sena) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 23).

“The targeted assistance is also to ensure that the right individuals from the income bracket can enjoy the aid,” Mohd Na'im added.

Ahmad Saad asked the minister to state the reasons why the government decided to set the cost for the haj pilgrimage based on income categories.

Mohd Na’im also said that TH would work with other government agencies, such as the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), to cross-check the pilgrims’ data.

The minister also said that the cost for haj this year has increased by 8% from RM28,632 to RM30,850.

On March 18, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the government will bear the RM1,000 increase in the cost of performing the haj for each B40 pilgrim this year.

As for the M40 group, Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the cost increased by RM3,000 while those from the T20 group will have to bear the total cost of performing haj.

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