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Prabowo's team announces dedicated ministry for free lunch program oversight

Jakarta Globe - February 23, 2024

Yustinus Patris Paat, Jakarta – Muhammad Arief Rosyid Hasan, the commander of the young voters campaign team (TKN Fanta) for presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, has revealed that Prabowo plans to establish a dedicated ministry to oversee his key program: providing free lunch for school children.

According to Arief, the program, estimated to cost Rp 400 trillion ($25.6 billion) annually for 89 million children, will be implemented immediately after Prabowo-Gibran's inauguration in October 2024.

"The first program, currently being prepared, is the free lunch program. Prabowo and his running mate, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, are in a meeting to discuss which ministry or agency will be specifically responsible for the execution of the free lunch program," Arief said during a dinner event organized by the National Young Entrepreneurs Volunteer (Repnas) in Jakarta, on Thursday.

The event was attended by the Chairman of the Repnas Central Board, who is also the Deputy Commander of TKN Fanta Anggawira, Deputy Commander of TKN Fanta Osco Olfriady Letunggamu, and the National Coordinator of the Prabowo-Gibran Digital Team (Pride) Anthony Leong.

Arief called on Repnas and Pride, who have worked hard to ensure the potential victory of Prabowo-Gibran, to support and oversee the implementation of Prabowo-Gibran's flagship programs, including the free lunch initiative.

"While others are still celebrating the victory, tomorrow Repnas should start planning the implementation of the free lunch program," Arief added.

Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto, has assured that the free lunch program will be incorporated into the 2025 State Budget. Currently, the government is formulating the Macro Economic Policy and Basic Fiscal Policy (KEM-PPKF) for 2025. The KEM-PPKF 2025 will serve as the initial step in designing the 2025 State Budget.

"Confirmed (it's in the state budget)," said Airlangga, while giving a thumbs up, in Jakarta on Friday. When asked for further details, he did not elaborate on the budget specifics for the program.

During the 2024 election presidential debate, Prabowo said that his flagship free school meal program would not only slash the stunting rate, but it would give a boost to Indonesia's economic growth.

Speaking before his rivals, Prabowo presented his free school lunch program as a solution to address stunting and extreme poverty, aiming to absorb all crops harvested by farmers and the catches of the fishermen. The implementation of this program is anticipated to contribute to a 1.5 to 2 percent growth in Indonesia's economy.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/prabowos-team-announces-dedicated-ministry-for-free-lunch-program-oversigh