The Pakistan government’s ‘austerity-drive’ is being reduced to a joke. When he assumed office, the country’s new Prime Minister, Imran Khan aimed to reduce vehicle costs and began auctioning the government’s expansive fleet. With the cars on sale, the man who declared to relinquish all perks of luxury is now reportedly taking helicopter rides to Islamabad on most days.
(AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
The BBC reports that the government planned to bag at least $16 million from the prime ministerial car sale but so far managed only $600,000. Bidders grabbed just 61 of the 100 vehicles up for sale. Believe it or not, the lawns of the Prime Minister’s House also pegged eight buffaloes, which an aide to Khan said were used for Nawaz Sharif’s "gastronomic requirements".
Four helicopters in the auction drew a lot of interest though they’ll be up for sale only later. Meanwhile, the stars of the show were two Mercedes Maybach S-600s, which were bought during Sharif’s regime. The asking price of $1.3 million ensured that they went unsold.
Unfortunately for the former cricketer, his cost cutting plans have become a subject of mockery thanks to his regular helicopter commutes to his residence. Critics like Raza Rumi have pointed out that the wallet-tightening has been ‘cosmetic’ so far, as per Economic Times. Auctioning of old government vehicles have taken place earlier as well, albeit with less publicity.
Reports say, the Pakistan government is projected to face a deficit of Rs 1.7 trillion. If Imran Khan wants achche din
to hit home, he’ll probably have to do more than just sell cars and ride helicopters.