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Navy defends its proposal to buy two more submarines
Reacting to opposition criticism, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has defended its move to submit a proposal for the purchase of two submarines, saying it had a duty to do so.
The Navy submitted the proposal for buying the second and third submarines to Parliament’s special committee considering the fiscal budget for 2022.
Opposition parties had earlier commented that the Navy’s purchase of submarines would be an inappropriate expenditure amid the worsening pandemic situation.
“We realise that the country is combating the Covid-19 outbreak, but it is our duty to submit the proposal following the Navy’s improvement plan to maintain our level of preparedness,” RTN spokesman Admiral Chettha Jaipiam said on Saturday.
“The buying of additional submarines is a package deal, as we have already purchased the first one, which means we will need the second and third ones for use in rotation in case of repair and maintenance.
“We have negotiated with China to reduce the payment in the first year by one-third, while the budget for this project will all come from the fiscal 2022 budget,” he added.
“RTN is doing its duty in submitting a proposal to use the budget as do other ministries and departments. It is up to the special committee to approve the purchase of the submarines,” said Chettha. “However, in the past two years, the government has cut RTN’s budget and used it to help people who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.”
Published : July 17, 2021
By : THE NATION