National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans for B40 students taking diploma courses at private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) will be increased from RM6,800 to RM8,000 per semester, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad, when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2021, said this would be subject to the takaful reserves for the IPTS concerned beginning next year.
“The ministry has also agreed to widen the provision of PTPTN loan advance payments to IPTS students from B40 families based on PTPTN’s terms of eligibility beginning 2021,” she said.
She said the ministry would also study proposals to waive the interest on loans and give discounts for repayments during the moratorium period, aside from ensuring that the sustainability of PTPTN’s financial sources is not affected in the long term.
“This matter is still under discussion with the finance ministry because any action taken by PTPTN is subject to approval by the finance ministry as the source of funding is from the ministry,” she added.
Responding to Rusnah Aluai (PH-Tangga Batu) on the alleged slashing of up to RM130 million in allocations for Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) under Budget 2021, Noraini said the actual reduction was only RM3 million or 0.18%.
She said a misunderstanding occurred as the operating budget of RM1.861 billion received by UiTM in 2020 included an allocation for Hospital UiTM (HUiTM), which had been made separate under Budget 2021.
“Overall, the allocation for UiTM (excluding HUiTM) in 2020 was RM1.737 billion while the allocation for 2021 is RM1.733 billion, a drop of only RM3 million or 0.18%.
“I would like to inform (the House) that the shortfall of 0.18% will be met by the ministry through the implementation of internal savings,” she said.