By ASILA JALIL / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
THE National Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) has surpassed its target of RM2 billion for student loan repayment by achieving RM2.07 billion on Nov 30 this year.
Its chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan (picture) said in a statement yesterday that PTPTN has also managed to enhance “loan repayment” culture among borrowers as the number has increased to 82.5% on Nov 30 from 81.3% on Dec 31 last year.
“PTPTN expects the figure to further increase towards the end of the year,” he said.
As of Nov 30, the fund provided loans to 172,863 who were pursuing their studies to higher education institutions. Some 78,755 or 46% of students from the total amount were from the bottom 40% (B40) income group.
Wan Saiful said the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) recorded a deposit of RM798 million as of Nov 30, versus RM671.97 million in the same period last year. This figure showed an increase of RM126.03 million or 18.76%.
As of November 2019, SSPN’s deposit totalled to RM5.3 billion.
A total of 404,676 new accounts were also opened as of Nov 30 which brought the number of SSPN accounts opened since the scheme launched in 2004 to 4.32 million.
SSPN registered an investment profit of RM151.5 million for the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19), which is an increase of 25.9% from RM120.33 million in the same quarter last year.
He said PTPTN expects the number of investments to achieve an outstanding performance in 4Q19.
Wan Saiful said the Pakatan Harapan government has fulfilled three of the four promises regarding PTPTN which are stated in its manifesto or “Buku Harapan”.
The first three promises that were achieved were provide exemption for excellent students from the B40 and middle 40% income group families, lift overseas travel restrictions for blacklisted PTPTN borrowers and give incentives to employers to help borrowers who could not afford to pay their loans.
PTPTN, however, is still unable to defer repayment for borrowers with a salary of less than RM4,000 a month.
Wan Saiful said it is still unable to be implemented as it involves matter that are beyond PTPTN’s jurisdiction and also has major implications towards the country’s finances.
“PTPTN has taken appropriate actions including negotiating with stakeholders,” he added.
In October, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said a total 375,925 borrowers had yet to begin repaying their loans from PTPTN.
She said the government had yet to decide to reintroduce the travel ban which was previously imposed on loan defaulters as a way to boost loan repayments.