PRIME Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha held internal discussions with the navy to postpone the heavily-criticized purchase of the second and third submarines from China by another year, Thai Rath newspaper reported this morning (August 31, 2020).
Mr. Anucha Burapachaisri, spokesman of the Prime Minister’s office, said Gen. Prayut has assigned the navy to negotiate with China on delaying this purchase.
“The Prime Minister wants the navy to consider and explain to House subcommittee vetting fiscal 2021 budget on delaying the purchase of these submarines by another year,” he added.
The Prime Minister fully realizes both the House subcommittee and the general public are concerned about buying more submarines during the current period. The military’s role is to take the best care of the people but the government has to look at all sectors which aside from security includes economic and social welfare.
The budget to acquire the second and third submarines is 3.375 billion baht a year over a seven-year period.
In fact first installment to pay for the two additional subs should have been channeled this fiscal year but had to be put off to fiscal 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic
Top: Getting two more submarines like this one has been postponed by a year. Photo: Thai Rath