ISLAMABAD, Sep 17: An unprecedented auction of 102 vehicles Monday attracted large crowd of enthusiastic auto fans to the PM House, adding around Rs 200 million to the national kitty; however the most expensive lot of 21 luxury cars was postponed till correction of a tax anomaly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in his first address to the nation on August 19, had announced the austerity drive and vowed to cut down on government expenses. He initiated the campaign by announcing auction of excess luxury and other vehicles used by the PM House. The federal cabinet later endorsed the decision of the prime minister and gave the formal go ahead.
The day-long auction on the rear grounds of the PM House, that once was used to as a polo ground, saw the sale of 61 vehicles including six protected vehicles. The auction of 21 armoured vehicles would be held at a later date owing to the higher rates of taxes imposed by the FBR. Around 20 low priced vehicles got a low bid and were not auctioned.
The buyers, hailing from all over Pakistan said though the prices of some vehicles were higher than the market value, still they were pleased to add in their share to the national cause. The authorities decided to auction the high value cars at a later date to adjust the rate of taxes imposed, after objections were raised by the buyers who said these were valued wrongly.
Muhammad Asif, the General Staff Officer of the Prime Minister Office said these vehicles would be offered again for auction, after re-evaluation of taxes and Prime Minister's approval. He said the vehicles that were auctioned were sold at a good price, some even fetched a price even higher than the market value.
Some of the top of the line protected cars have been placed at a price as high as over Rs 160 million, while the buyers insisted these could be acquired for Rs 110 million.
The protected vehicle line-up of black, white and sliver luxury cars included three 7600cc BMW 760Li cars (2014 model) and three 5000 cc X-5 SUVs (2016), two Maybach S-600 and two S-600L Mercedes 6000 cc (2016), ten S-300 Mercedes cars, jeeps and a stretched limousine (2005), besides seven Land Cruisers V-8 and Lexus (2005-2015).
The remaining non-protected vehicles included Honda Civic, City, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi, Cherokee and Nissan jeeps, Suzuki cars and a Hino bus. Three of the vehicles were of 1986 model, while nine, including BMW, Maybach and Mercedes are of 2016 model.
The buyers hailing from all over Pakistan were excited to be able to inspect and bid for vehicles used by several former prime ministers including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, Shaukat Aziz and Mir Zafarullah Jamali. Many of the vehicles were also used for foreign dignitaries who visited Pakistan.
The official account of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in a Tweet about the auction said it was “A reminder that all this recovery will go back into serving the people of Pakistan under PM Austerity Drive. It is these efforts that will add up to a revolution in leadership mindset in Pakistan.”
One of the 2005 model armoured Mercedes Jeep fetched the government Rs 14.5 million, while another 4600 cc Land Cruiser V8, 2015 model brought Rs 27.4 million.
According to the terms for the auction the successful bidders had to pay 25% of the amount as earnest money and deposit rest of the amount within seven days. The successful buyers would have to get the vehicle registered in their name, while the delivery of the protected vehicles would be conditional to the No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Interior.