Sun, August 14, 2022

in-focus

PM staunchly defends military budget for weapon purchases


The Defence Ministry carefully spends its limited budget on weapon purchases to make sure that Thailand is well prepared to defend itself if necessary, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told Parliament on Thursday.

Defending his government’s Budget Bill for fiscal 2023, General Prayut, who doubles as the defence minister, said the country’s defence budget has been “reduced a lot” over the past two years.

“Please understand that time is needed to prepare for [procurement of military weapons]. Thailand gets help from no one — we have to rely on ourselves. We have a domestic defence industry, but there are things that we need to buy,” Prayut said.

In response to criticism from opposition MPs, the PM said the Ministry of Defence was spending the limited budget carefully to ensure the country was ready for any form of security threats.

“Nobody can guarantee there is no such thing happening. So, there’s the need to acquire [military hardware] when the necessity arises,” he said.

Prayut also told the parliamentary meeting on the Budget Bill that the Border Police Bureau was allocated a large budget to construct their accommodations and border schools for rural children that they run.

He was responding to an observation by some opposition MPs that the allocated budget was “too high” and prone to irregularities.

The PM said the housing was needed to ensure high morale of the officers stationed in the border areas and required to stand by for various duties round-the-clock.

“The country’s peace and normalcy today can be attributed to those officials. If you damage the morale of police, soldiers and civil officers, who will want to work for you and maintain peace in the country?” Prayut asked.

Published : June 02, 2022