He said OAG officials had carefully examined the deal and did not detect any irregularities, pointing out that attempts by the RTN to procure a submarine have been going on for many years throughout several previous governments.
Regarding the 36-billion baht budget for three Yuan-class submarines, Mr Phisit said that the price tag was appropriate and the RTN would pay for the submarines from its own budget in instalments of between 700-2,000 million baht.
He assured that the deal would not cause financial burden to the Central Fund as payments for the submarines would come from the RTN's annual budgets. However, he noted that there would be extra expenses for personnel training but, in the end, the training would be beneficial to the state.
Regarding the observation made by some critics that the submarine deal might be unconstitutional because it did not have the prior approval of the parliament, Mr Phisit said that the government-to-government submarine deal was not regarded as a treaty and, hence, did not require parliamentary approval.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)