Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) reiterated that the decision to further extend the period of rice aid distribution until December 2024 will depend on the result of assessment of the capacity of the State Budget (APBN).

According to a statement from his secretariat here, Jokowi conveyed this during a dialogue with rice assistance beneficiaries at a warehouse complex of state-run logistics company Bulog in Bungo District, Jambi Province, on Thursday.

"We will reassess the APBN. If the budget permits, we will continue (the aid distribution) until December. However, this is not a promise because I will initially need to open the APBN in June," he told the beneficiaries.

The government has been distributing 10 kilograms of rice aid to each beneficiary every month since 2023 and has decided to extend the distribution period until June this year.

The president noted that the distribution of rice assistance is testament to the government's commitment to the welfare of the people.

"This is the fourth (distribution month) and will continue until June," he remarked.

One of the beneficiaries, Khoirul Anwar, said that the rice aid had been helpful for people, with low economic capacity, to deal with the increased rice prices.

"Yes, (the aid) is very helpful, especially during this time when the prices of rice are soaring. This is the fourth time I received the aid. Praise be to God, this aid truly helps," he remarked.

Asmirawati, another beneficiary, expressed hope that the distribution period of the rice aid would extend further.

"Hopefully, Mr. Jokowi will continue to distribute such aid," she stated.

Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Head of the National Food Agency (Bapanas) Arief Prasetyo Adi, Jambi Governor Al Haris, and Bungo District Head Mashuri accompanied President Jokowi during the dialogue.

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Translator: Andi F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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