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Umrah pilgrims must be departed six months after registering

Umrah pilgrims must be departed six months after registering

Ministry of Religious Affairs prepares breakthroughs to improve Umrah implementation.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Ministry of Religious Affairs has prepared a number of breakthroughs to improve the implementation of Umrah (minor haj). It will be applied following umrah problems happened in the last two years.

Many people became victims due to the cancellation of umrah schedule. There were also the travel agencies that must face legal issues.

Head of Umrah Division at Ministry’s Haj and Umrah Directorate General, Arfi Hatim said there are some breakthroughs that have been prepared. First, revision on the regulations with a firmer footing in the supervisory task.

Ministry of Religious Affairs has issued Minister Regulation No. 8 Year 2018 on Umrah Implemetation. There are several new rules in the regulation, some of those are including the provisions on the departure period.

“Six months after registering, the pilgrims have to be departed so that the Umrah fund is not used for other purposes,” said Arfi on Thursday (May 31).

The second effort is building an electronic-based supervision system. Ministry of Religious Affairs is developing Integrated Supervision Information System Umrah and Hajj Special (Sipatuh).

Through the system, the would-be pilgrims will be connected to PPIU, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Embassy of Saudi Arabia. It will be done to monitor umrah implementation thoroughly.

Within the framework of improving this system, Ministry of Religious Affairs has established cooperation with a number of parties. Cooperation agreements for example have been done with the Directorate General of Population and Civil Registry in the utilization of population data, Employment Master Number, and e-ID cards.

As preventive measure in the supervision, Directorate General of Hajj and Umrah Implementation has also cooperated with the National Accreditation Committee (KAN) of National Standardization Agency (BSN). In the future, Business Certification Agency (LSU) that will certify the Umrah Worship Pilgrimage Organizer (PPIU) should be accredited by KAN.

“We will also establish a synergy with OJK, the Recipient Bank Deposit Fees for Hajj Pilgrimage to supervise the financial management of pilgrims in the PPIU, including the insurance to guarantee the certainty of departure and journey of Umrah pilgrims,” Arfi explained.

Furthermore, Arfi said subsequent efforts from Ministry of Religious Affairs is in a Minister Decree No. 221 Year 2018 on PPIU reference price. The reference price is in the range of Rp 20 million.

The permit can be revoked if PPIU sets the price below the reference price without clear reason,” Arfi added.

On Wednesday (May 30), panel of the judges in Depok has sentenced First Travel bosses, Andika Surachman and his wife Annisa Desvitasari Hasibuan respectively with 20 years and 18 years of imprisonment and fine Rp 10 billion or a year and four months confinement. They were the main suspects in an Umrah scam amounting to Rp 905 billion from 63.310 customers of First Travel’s Umrah (minor haj) tour packages.

Andika and Anniesa were charged under articles 378 and 55 of Criminal Code on fraud and Article 3 Law No. 8/2010 on money laundering.

Meanwhile, the other defendant, First Travel manager Siti Nuraida Hasibuan (Kiki) had been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and Rp 5 billion in fines or another year in prison.

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