The Ministry of Defense has asked the Finance Ministry to quickly release at least $23.2 million for the purchase of rice, uniforms and fuel for RCAF troops ahead of the rainy season, officials said.
In a Nov 3 letter to the Finance Ministry, co-Ministers of Defense Tea Banh and Nhiek Bun Chhay requested $8.6 million for the purchase of rice rations, $8.2 million for the purchase of fuel and $6.4 million for the purchase of new uniforms for the nation’s military forces.
But the Finance Ministry has not yet replied to the request, Nhiek Bun Chhay said Wednesday.
“We sent the report to the Ministry of Finance one month ago to approve of the needs of RCAF soldiers in the near future, but we did not yet receive a reply,” he said.
“I hope we will receive according to our request because it is rations for RCAF to carry out its missions.”
Tea Banh also said that the military request for 2005 was far lower than other years because of troop demobilization.
“Our request for RCAF’s budget is not high, but is less and less because thousands of soldiers were demobilized,” Tea Banh said Wednesday.
Commenting on the delay in disbursing RCAF’s funds, Finance Ministry Secretary of State Ouk Rabun said the ministry was “working on it.”
“If there is any problem we will discuss with the Ministry of Defense,” he added.
Explaining the urgency in distributing supplies to the armed forces, RCAF General Sum Samnang, director of the logistics and finance department, said remote areas where troops are located will become hard to access when the rainy season sets in.
Sum Samnang also dismissed allegations that the bidding process for the provision of military supplies was fixed.
“Some people criticized us because they were not listed for bidding. But they do not have enough evidence and they did not qualify, so we had to choose other [companies],” he said.