Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, said on Tuesday that the government discussed the free lunch program proposal at a recent cabinet meeting to ensure the continuation of existing programs.

"That is, just in case, for anticipation, so that there will be continuity among existing programs in 2024 and they are not abandoned in 2025," he stated.

He said that funding for the free lunch program could be allocated in the 2025 Draft State Budget (RAPBN).

This would allow the government transition to run smoothly, he added.

However, he stressed that the 2025 RAPBN for the free lunch program is still being discussed.

"Hopefully, preparations would be synchronized, so that the transition from the current state budget to the next one is continuous and the transition process does not have to be restricted," he said.

A plenary cabinet session led by President Joko Widodo on Monday discussed the 2025 Government Work Plan (RKP), including the free lunch in schools program.

Presidential and vice presidential candidates Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming Raka have proposed the free lunch program.

"This is just the initial meeting to discuss Subianto's priority programs, including the free lunch," Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said.

He said that the 2025 RKP and RAPBN discussions should consider incorporating the next government's programs.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that the free lunch program pushed by Prabowo-Gibran has not been discussed in detail by cabinet ministers.

"It has not been talked about yet," he said.

According to Sadikin, the current nutrition fulfillment program for babies and pregnant women, especially for alleviating stunting cases, is still on.

Under the next government, schoolchildren will also be covered by the nutrition fulfillment program through free lunches.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Kenzu
Editor: Anton Santoso
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