Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Defense ministry moves to increase budget

Minister of Defence Purnomo Yusgiantoro (middle) wear a "G Suit" before taking off on a Sukhoi SU 30 MK2 at squadron 11, Sultan Hasannudin airforce base, Makassar, on Monday (27/9). He was on air for 25 minutes to try the reliability of Russian made fighter jet. (Photo: ANTARA/pandu dewantara/kunto)

September 29, 2010, Jakarta - The Ministry of Defense has proposed that the government allocate an extra Rp 57 trillion (US$6.3 billion) over the coming five years to procure new arms and maintain war machines.

Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said on Wednesday the government could cover the deficit from the foreign exchange reserves, which currently reach $78 billion.

“We need endorsement from the finance minister. For the time being we are struggling to win the approval,” Purnomo said as quoted by kompas.com.

The National Development Planning Board had allocated Rp 100 trillion for defense budget for 2010-2014, down from Rp 157 trillion demanded by the Defense Ministry.

Purnomo dismissed the public’s worry about the use of the whopping defense budget, citing the multi-layer supervision of the budget use in place.

Indonesia plans to buy six more Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia and two submarines in the coming five years to boost its defense capability.

Accidents involving aging war machines were rampant in the last few years amid limited defense budget. One third of the budget used to be spent on soldiers’ salary and allowance.

The Jakarta Post

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