Government Spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri disclosed that while the House committee on draft FY2564 national budget scrutiny is deliberating the Royal Thai Navy (RTN)’s plan to purchase 2 submarines, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has discussed with Ministry of Defense and RTN, and agreed to consider the delay of submarine purchase for the fiscal year 2021. RTN will later meet with and inform the House committee on the decision for it to proceed according to the House of Representatives’ mechanism.
This is the 2nd postponement of the 2-submarine purchase (total budget of 3.375 billion Baht), following the 1st postponement, which was decided in the fiscal year 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. RTN would reallocate the budget for use in other appropriate causes, especially for promoting people’s wellbeing. Ministry of Defense will further negotiate with China on the matter.
The Government Spokesperson also added, in response to the press’s question, that RTN’s plan to purchase 3 submarines (for the total budget of 36 billion Baht) has been undertaken on a G2G basis. The first submarine has been received. The Defense Council will meet to deliberate delay of the purchase, if possible, while final decision on the matter will be made by the House committee.
According to the Government Spokesperson, the Government strives to uplift the livelihood of people of all sectors in both economic, social, and security dimensions. The decision to delay submarine purchase reflects the Prime Minister’s standpoint to listen to public voices in all aspects based on the principle of transparency, justice, and rationality.