PM Imran Khan’s austerity drive: 49 Pakistan government vehicles up for sale at 2nd auction to raise funds

By: | Published: October 17, 2018 7:08 PM

Cash-strapped Pakistan government Wednesday failed to enthuse buyers for 49 luxury automobiles, including 19 bullet proof cars, as just one vehicle was sold at a much-publicised auction, according to a media report.

Imran Khan, Imran Khan austerity drive, Pakistan government vehicles sales, IMF, vechicles sale in paksitanAccording to a customs officer, another auction will be held on October 25 at the I-9 dry port in Islamabad. (Reuters)

Cash-strapped Pakistan government Wednesday failed to enthuse buyers for 49 luxury automobiles, including 19 bullet proof cars, as just one vehicle was sold at a much-publicised auction, according to a media report. As Prime Minister Imran Khan grappled with a major debt crisis, his government, which has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout, sold 61 vehicles during the first auction held exactly a month back. It also auctioned eight buffaloes kept at the Prime Minister House and raised more than Rs 23 lakh. The buffaloes were kept by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The highest bid for a buffalo was Rs 385,000 and three of the cattle were bought by supporters of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party. The government also plans to auction four helicopters under the use of the Cabinet Division. In an auction held at the Prime Minister House on Wednesday, one out of the 49 vehicles on display was purchased, Geo News reported.

The car purchased from the auction fetched the government Rs 90 lakh, it said. According to a customs officer, another auction will be held on October 25 at the I-9 dry port in Islamabad. “There is limited access of citizens to the Prime Minister House,” the officer said, apparently referring to the poor response to the second vehicle auction. The officer said that people should understand that the vehicles that are being auctioned have “special features” which justify the higher price tags.

Khan his first address to the nation emphasised on austerity measures and announced the auction of 102 surplus PM House vehicles. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party leader and a federal minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the first batch of cars were sold above their market price and the money fetched from the auctions will be deposited in the national exchequer.

Khan, who was elected in July on a platform of anti-corruption reforms, has made much of his so-called austerity drive. The cash-strapped Pakistani government is facing grave economic challenges as it struggles to keep the economy afloat. Apart from selling off surplus luxury cars, Khan’s proposals include turning state-owned buildings into universities, dispensing with VIP security protocol and cutting air conditioning in government offices.

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