REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - Parliament agreed to set an 18 trillion IDR budget for defense sector in the state budget draft 2013, Vice Chief of Commission I at the House of representatives (DPR) Tubagus Hasanuddin said on Tuesday.
"The budget will be used gradually until 2014 to purchase new weaponry system such as combat jet, combat vehicle, chopper, and warship," he said adding that the government had earlier proposed 77 trillion IDR budget for defense sector in 2013 which was an increase compare to last year`s 72,54 trillion IDR.
Earlier President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the Indonesian military strength was still much below the minimum requirement. Therefore, the government had continued to increase the military budget to strengthen and modernize the country`s weapon system, Yudhoyono said.
"In any country, the defense budget is relatively big. Therefore, I ask for good management of the budget," he said.
He said military operations were not only for state defense and security, but expanded to overcoming natural disasters, peace keeping mission even to fight terrorism. Indonesia, he added, had long stopped modernizing its weapon system, not only because the country was hit by financial crisis.
"Even before the crisis there was no significant increase in the military strength," he said. Therefore, with an increase in the state budget thanks to strong economic growth, the country could finance the strengthening and modernization of the military, he said in a cabinet meeting at the military headquarters on development of national defense system.