The Czech Defence Ministry did not use 2.8 billion crowns from its 71.1 billion budget in 2019 and will use most of the money this year, its spokesman Jan Pejsek told CTK today.
The ministry was criticised in the past for not being able to use all of the money allocated to it in the state budget. This year, it says the state of its finances is the healthiest for a four-year period.
The state budget approved last year gave the Defence Ministry 66.7 billion crowns. The total was then increased by other, non-budgetary sources, as well as the money left over from the previous year, to 71.1 billion.
"We used 68.3 billion crowns from that sum, which means 96.1 percent," Pejsek said, adding that the ministry gained 8.5 billion more last year than in 2018.
The ministry's ability to effectively use all of the funds provided is improving over time. The ministry had a budget of 63.3 billion in 2018 and was not able to use 3.5 billion.
"Since assuming office, I focused on our ability to make use of our financial resources. We have achieved the best result for the four-year period, not only in the nominal value, but also in the percentage ratio to the total of the budget," Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) said, adding that this year will surely be even better and that the effectivity in its use of its funds is the ministry's priority.
Pejsek stated that the majority of the unused funds, specifically 1.7 billion crowns, fall into the category of programmatic financing.
For example, Pejsek explained, the ministry was not able to finalise the modernisation of its Mi-17 helicopters for 49 million crowns. Other examples include the purchase of personal, protective and all-terrain vehicles, with a leftover of 95 million crowns, as well as the reconstruction of the heating system in the Prostejov barracks building, with a leftover of 124 million crowns.