Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 04:57:38 PM

Imran Khan govt auctions 102 official luxury cars

International Desk |
Update: 2018-09-18 11:52:00 AM
Imran Khan govt auctions 102 official luxury cars
People visit the auction at the premises of Prime Minister House in Islamabad (Photo: collected)

Bullet-proof jeeps and helicopters drew hundreds of bidders to a Pakistani government "austerity-drive" auction aimed at cutting vehicle costs.

But the heavily publicized sale - held on the lawns of Prime Minister House - failed to live up to its billing and even drew laughter from buyers.

Auctioneers said the government hoped to net at least $16m (£12m), but just $600,000 was made from Monday's sale.

Imran Khan, who was elected in July on a platform of anti-corruption reforms, has made much of his so-called austerity drive - but critics say it has been more style than substance so far.
Last month, as he preached belt-tightening to others, the PM was mocked when it emerged he commutes to work by helicopter to beat traffic jams.

More than 100 cars - half of them billed as luxury vehicles - were up for auction on Monday. However only 62 went under the hammer.

Of those, the crown jewels were two Mercedes Maybach S-600s, purchased under former PM Nawaz Sharif in 2016. However, when an asking price of almost $1.3m was announced for each car, there was a huge roar of laughter among the almost 500 bidders present - and no takers.

In addition seven BMWs, and all 14 Mercedes Benz S-300s from 1993 went unsold.
The most expensive car that did sell was a bullet-proof 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser, which netted almost $200,000. Four bullet-proof 2005 Mercedes jeeps also found buyers.

But many of the cars were far from luxury, some purchased as far back as the mid-1980s.

BBC Online

BDST: 1150 HRS, SEPT 18, 2018

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