Colombia’s vice minister of defense insisted on the need to increase the defense budget in order to meet the running costs in the defense sector, such as feeding the soldiers, Colombian newspaper El Espectador reported Tuesday.
Vice Minister of Defense Yaneth Giha stated that it is necessary to utilize additional resources of $19.3 million (COP35 billion) to provide food for Colombian soldiers. Giha said this during the debate in which the Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverri had the national budget for 2012 approved.
Giha also said that for operating costs she has requested an additional $85.5 million (COP154.9 billion) for the 2012 budget. “These resources are divided among the necessities we have of flight hours for helicopters, fuel for Navy boats and aeronautical fuel and maintenance,” the minister explained.
She said the objective of the additional funds is to maintain the international operational standards of the Colombian Armed Forces.
Giha said that the total budget for the Defense Sector amounts to $12.7 billion (COP23 trillion) which is divided into $9.7 billion (COP17.5 trillion) for staff costs, general expenses, transfers, and investment with $3.05 billion (COP 5.53 trillion) for decentralized costs.