As Pakistan Debts Rise, Government Vehicles At Auction To Raise Funds

ISLAMABAD: Cash-strapped Pakistan government today put on auction 49 more vehicles, including 19 bullet proof cars, as Prime Minister Imran Khan grappled with a major debt crisis.
The government, which has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a financial bailout, sold 61 vehicles during the first auction held one month ago.

It also auctioned eight buffaloes kept at the Prime Minister House and raised more than Rs. 2.3 million. 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.

Another 49 vehicles of Prime Minister’s house will be auctioned on Wednesday as part of austerity drive, Radio Pakistan reported.

The vehicles up for sale also include 19 bullet proof cars, it said.

The government led by Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party has announced that it would auction a total of 102 luxury cars under the austerity drive.

Talking to reporters, the PM House administrator said the bidding price included import tax and the buyers will only have to pay withholding tax on the vehicles, the Express Tribune reported.

After the first auction, the PTI claimed on Twitter that three 2015 model Land Cruisers V8 were sold for Rs. 27.4 million, Rs. 26.5 million and Rs. 26.1 million respectively.

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.

As well as selling off surplus luxury cars, its proposals include turning state-owned buildings into universities, dispensing with VIP security protocol and cutting air conditioning in government offices.