Navy slashes 2020 budget by 33 per cent ‘to help govt fight Covid-19’

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The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will slash its fiscal 2020 budget by 33 per cent, or by Bt4.1 billion, to help the government fight Covid-19, said Vice Admiral Prachachat Sirisawat, the Navy spokesman, on Saturday (April 18).

“The government has asked all ministries to cut their budgets and contribute the excess to the central budget to help compensate the general public whose lives have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, or to be used in emergency situations,” he said.

“Commander-in-Chief of the RTN, Admiral Luechai Rutdit, therefore ordered the Navy to cut its budget for 2020 by 33 per cent — by Bt4.1 billion — which is higher than what the government has asked.”

Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak announced on March 30 that the government would cut back 10 per cent of the budgets disbursed to all ministries to create a central pool for emergency use.

“RTN will also postpone the procurement of the second and third submarines to 2021 although the purchases were to be made from the RTN’s own budget and not of the Ministry of Defence,” he said. “This also means other submarine-related projects will be suspended too, such as the construction of submarine bays and maintenance facilities.”

Other Navy projects that will be affected by the budget cut include: anti-submarine helicopters’ overhaul, network centric database system, training equipment procurement, and the construction of 64 units of apartments for RTN personnel.

“The Royal Thai Navy is committed to supporting the government in its effort to combat the Covid-19 situations and remedy those who have been affected by the outbreak,” said the spokesman.