Third moratorium for PTPTN loans being mulled

THE Higher Education Ministry has taken proactive steps to discuss with relevant agencies and ministries for the government to consider a third moratorium for National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) repayment, said Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.

The Higher Education Minister said the matter was being deliberated by the Finance Ministry.

The first moratorium on PTPTN payment was carried out from April to September this year.

It was then extended from October to December.

“The estimation of the postponement in payment for both moratoriums is expected to be RM1.125bil, benefiting some 1.5 million borrowers.

“Although an extension was given, the ministry would like to thank some 422,609 PTPTN borrowers who continued with their repayment, totalling RM595mil for the period from April to October this year, ” she said during the winding-up of Budget 2021 at the policy stage for her ministry.

Noraini said the ministry had also agreed to increase the PTPTN loan amount from RM6,800 to RM8,000 for borrowers from B40 families who want to continue their diploma studies at private higher education institutions.

She also said the ministry was also looking into suggestions by some lawmakers who hoped that discounts and exemption on the repayment interest for PTPTN borrowers would be considered.

“At the same time, we need to ensure financial sustainability for PTPTN in the long term, ” she pointed out.

She also denied allegations that the government had ignored the importance of institutions such as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

The minister said the overall allocation for UiTM in 2020 stood at RM1.737bil while the allocation for next year is RM1.733bil, which was a decrease of only 0.18%.

“I would like to say that the

0.18% reduction will be funded by the ministry through internal savings.

“The development expenditure allocation received by UiTM in Budget 2021 is also higher compared to 2020, ” she said.

She said in 2020, UiTM was allocated RM877.1mil while under Budget 2021, some RM901.42mil had been set aside.

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