PUTRAJAYA: The decision on whether or not the discount on the repayment of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) study loan will be continued in the 2024 Budget depends on the approval of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), according to Minister of Higher Education Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
“Anything related to that matter (discount for PTPTN loan repayments) is subject to the decision of the MOF,” he told reporters after launching the National Academia Day and Academia Month 2023 here today.
The minister said that, as of now, the PTPTN loan repayment discount period, which ended on May 31 as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim during the tabling of the 2023 Budget last February, has not been extended.
“So far, we are no longer continuing with it (discounts for PTPTN repayment),” he said when asked if there is any good news for PTPTN borrowers in the 2024 Budget regarding loan repayment discounts.
When tabling Budget 2023, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Finance Minister, said the government had agreed to give discounts of up to 20 per cent on PTPTN loan repayments for three months starting March 1.
There are four categories eligible for the initiative, namely a 20 per cent discount on the remaining debt for full settlement of the loan; a 15 per cent discount for the settlement of at least 50% of the total outstanding debt; a 15 per cent discount for repayments through salary deduction or direct debit; and a five per cent discount for repayment through the myPTPTN application.
In addition, the government also agreed to defer repayment for borrowers with a monthly income of RM1,800 and below for a period of six months to ease their financial burden.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Khaled said the ministry would also focus on three items under Budget 2024, namely digitalisation, research and innovation and student housing.
“We are hoping that the government will support our application to implement and apply digitalisation in a bid to make the management of the higher education ecosystem in the country a success.
“We believe that through digitalisation, we can improve and further escalate efforts to ensure we continue to excel in the higher education sector,” he said. – Bernama