Minister of Religion Fachrul Razi. Photo: Doc. JPNN.com
jpnn.com, JAKARTA – Minister of Religion Fachrul Razi immediately responded to the polemic that occurred as a result of the cancellation of the Odd Semester tuition (UKT) Odd Semester 2020/2021 for students of the State Islamic Religious Higher Education (PTKIN) by the Directorate General of Islamic Education.
According to the Minister of Religion, the cancellation was due to the need for a large budget for handling COVID-19.
He explained that the initiative to cut UKT PTKIN students is a form of the Ministry of Religion's good intentions to reduce the burden of student payments. His party has prepared a scheme to cover the lack of PTKIN revenue if UKT is cut by setting aside education budgets. However, the government apparently needed large funds to overcome COVID-19 so that the Ministry of Religion's budget efficiency was carried out up to Rp 2.6 trillion.
“There was a decision by the Ministry of Finance that our funds were cut to overcome COVID-19 in the amount of Rp 2.6 T. That figure is very big for the Ministry of Religion because all of them already have their own programs. Once the Rp 2.6 trillion has been deducted, we cannot move anything else to help overcome the lack of income in Islamic educational institutions (if UKT students are cut), “Minister Fachrul explained on the Ministry of Religion's website, Wednesday (29/4).
However, the Minister of Religion stressed, the Ministry of Finance cannot be blamed for the budget cuts. Because, right now the government does need a large budget to overcome COVID-19, one of which is for social safety nets and helping the poor.
“The government needs funds to support this and is taken from several Ministries, including the Ministry of Religion, to get Rp. 2.6 trillion so we cancel the plan (cutting the UKT of PTKIN students),” said the Minister of Religion.
“Sorry, we will try to think again about this problem. Believe us, we really care about this,” he continued.(esy / jpnn)