Saudi Arabia to Increase Indonesias Hajj Quota by 10,000 People
Date 15 September 2015
President Joko Widodo had marathon meetings during his visit to Saudi Arabia, among others meeting with the President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), with the Secretary General of Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), with the King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and these meetings were followed with bilateral meeting of the two Governments. In addition, the Presidents meeting with several ministers of Saudi Arabia produced encouraging results.
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said that the result of the marathon meetings was the approval to get additional hajj quota for Indonesia. Alhamdulillah, next year we get addition 10,000 people, Pramono said to the journalists at King Faisal Palace, Jeddah, on Saturday (12/9) night local time or Sunday (13/9) dawn Western Indonesia Time.
According to Cabinet Secretary, President Joko Widodo was expecting additional quota but the King has given his answer through the Minister of Religious Affairs who is also Special Envoy of the King.
Hajj quota is important because with Indonesia has the largest Muslim population. With current quota, a person must wait 10 years before he can go on Hajj. Therefore, the President expects Indonesia can get more than 10,000 and still trying to get this addition. Hopefully, next year Indonesia will get again its initial quota that is 200,000 people. At the moment, hajj quota for Indonesia is 168,000 people.
The Cabinet Secretary also said that the President is really concerned about the improvement of hajj services. The crane collapse disaster that killed a lot of people was a force majeure since it happened due to the storm.
The most important thing is to improve hajj services. Although it is getting better, it still needs a lot of improvement, Pramono Anung, who usually called Mas Pram, said, citing President Joko Widodos statement.
Another result from the marathon meetings of President Joko Widodo with a number of high-ranking officials in Saudi Arabia, according to Cabinet Secretary, is a strong will of Aramco, an oil company belongs to Saudi Arabia, to build oil refinery and storage as well as to be able to have distribution lane in Indonesia. The regions of distribution will be decided later.
President Joko Widodo, Pramono Anung added, gave an opportunity to Saudi Arabia to invest in Indonesia and build oil refinery with investment value worth US$ 10 billion.
Another concrete result of the meeting was the multiple tax exemption is finally approved by the two countries and it will be prepared by Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mas Pram said.
Moreover, President Joko Widodo have also mentioned the intention of BNI Bank to open a branch in Jeddah considering a lot of Indonesians go on umrah or hajj, which every year reach 700,000 people.
Insya Allah, it will be approved, Mas Pram said while extending the Presidents message to related officials to monitor the next discussions.
According to Pramono Anung, the President still has another three meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Manpower, and State Intelligence Agency (BIN).
The President was really happy with current development. The Government of Saudi Arabia said that they never have this kind of marathon meetings. It shows the seriousness of the Government of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia to more enhance the relations of both countries, Mas Pram said. (MM/YM-Naster/Sy).