SINTOK, Sept 23 (Bernama) — The compulsory salary deduction to recover the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans from defaulters is expected to start from 2013 and not from June next year.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said this was because studies and consultations had to be carried out first in the interests of all quarters before the scheme could be implemented.

He said a report that the salary deduction would start in June next year was inaccurate as negotiations on the matter would only be completed then.

“After the consultations are completed, we will present a report to the Cabinet before amending appropriate laws,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum understanding between Universiti Utara Malaysia and University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus here Thursday.

On Sunday, PTPTN chairman Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said was quoted as saying that effective June next year, PTPTN borrowers, especially about 46,000 defaulters, would be required to make their loan repayments through salary deduction to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB).

Mohamed Khaled said although the government had agreed in principle on the loan repayment through payroll deduction through the IRB, the starting date had yet to be determined.

He said in fact, when implemented the requirement might be imposed only on new borrowers while the old ones would continue to repay through the present arrangements.

The minimum salary to allow for the deduction to be made will also be determined, he added.

On complaints from some borrowers that they still had to incur a three per cent administrative cost despite the PTPTN had reduced it to one per cent, he said the harmonisation of the charges would take time as documents of more than 1.5 million borrowers had to be scrutinised.

“The borrowers are not paying back the same quantum and we have to check their documents one by one. Do not worry as the one per cent charge had already been implemented,” he added.