Thai Navy slashes 2020 budget by 33 percent to help fight COVID-19 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network)

Bangkok (VNA) -
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will slash its fiscal 2020 budget by 33 percent (equivalent to 4,100 billion THB or 126 million USD) to help the government fight COVID-19, said Vice Admiral Prachachat Sirisawat, the Navy's spokesman, on 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 percent — by 4.1 billion THB — which is higher than what the government has asked.

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 Defense, the spokesman added.

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 apartments for RTN personnel, he said.

Thailand on April 19 reported 32 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 2,765, with 47 deaths, according to spokesperson for the Thai government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration Taweesin Wisanuyothin./.