The Ministry of Defence yesterday approved a proposed 2017 budget that includes a 20 per cent increase over this year’s $382 million, saying the boost would largely go to higher salaries, a ministry spokesman said.
“In accordance with the government’s policy to increase salaries to 1 million riel [about $250] in 2017, our internal experts proposed to the government to increase 20 per cent from the total defence budget in 2016,” said spokesman Chhum Socheat, adding “we don’t know whether the government will approve it”.
Socheath said that approximately 80 per cent of the proposed budget is earmarked for salaries, with about 20 per cent set aside for training costs. He said the proposed budget will soon be sent to the Ministry of Economy and Finance before going to the Council of Ministers.
Council spokesman Phay Siphan said that, in principle, the annual national budget will prioritise higher spending on education, health and social affairs and salaries for civil servants, and that the Council will approve a national budget no later than the second week of November.