Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto stated that the free lunch program budgeted at Rp15 thousand (US$0.96) per beneficiary was excluded from the budget for the free milk program.

"The budget is Rp15 thousand per child," he confirmed in Jakarta on Monday.

According to the minister, the budget would be applied evenly in all regions of Indonesia. However, he did not detail which areas would receive the free lunch and milk program for children.

Hartarto remarked that the details of the free lunch and milk program will be discussed during the 2025 Macroeconomic Policy and Fiscal Policy Principles (KEM-PPKF) discussion at today's cabinet meeting.

The free lunch and milk program was a proposal from the presidential and vice presidential candidate pair, Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming Raka.

The pair is currently leading the 2024 presidential election voting count wherein the recapitulation of voting results took place on February 15-March 20, 2024.

In their vision and mission program, the candidate pair explained that the free lunch program aims to overcome the problem of stunting and will target preschool, elementary school, junior high school, senior high school, and Islamic boarding school students.

Nutritional assistance will also be provided to pregnant women and toddlers throughout Indonesia to improve health and help the family's economy.

The program targets more than 80 million beneficiaries, with 100 percent coverage by 2029.

The KEM-PPKF is an official state document used as a reference for preparing financial notes and the Draft for the 2025 State Budget.

This year's state budget drafting will be the last one for President Joko Widodo since his term of office will end this year, while implementation of the 2025 state budget will be carried out by the next administration.

Earlier, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized that the State Budget drafting should be focused on responding to various structural and fundamental problems.

"The State Budget will continue to be optimized as a mainstay instrument to answer various development challenges in Indonesia," she noted on February 13.

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Translator: Bayu Saputra, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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