Pakistan government sells off cars in bid to make up funding shortfalls

18 Sep 18

Pakistan’s new government has begun auctioning off state-owned vehicles as part of prime minister Imran Khan’s cost-cutting drive.

Khan said last month that he would live a “simple life” in a three-bedroom house instead of the prime minister’s residence and sell the government’s bullet-proof cars to help make up its treasury’s shortfalls.

Auction official Mohammad Asif told Reuters the vehicles could bring in about 2bn rupees ($16bn) to the government’s coffers.

In a speech on Friday, Khan said of his cost-cutting: “It is a change of mindset. I will be counting every single rupee I have to spend on me.”

However, critics have questioned the prime minister’s recent helicopter commute from his residence to Islamabad after declining to live in the official prime minister’s residence.

Information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the helicopter commute used less fuel than a car, and only cost 50 rupees (40 cents) per kilometre.

But Reuters reported that the eight-seat helicopter Khan uses costs about 200,000 rupees ($1,633) per hour factoring in fuel, crew, maintenance and safety inspections, according to Naseem Ahmed, president of the Society of Air Safety Investigation Pakistan.

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