ISLAMABAD: While a majority of expensive bulletproof and bombproof vehicles of Prime Minister House could not attract buyers’ attention during an auction, most of the other vehicles were sold on Monday.
In all, 61 of the 102 luxury and surplus vehicles parked on the lawns of PM House were auctioned off during the daylong activity as part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s austerity drive.
A reinforced Land Cruiser V8 got higher auctioned price of Rs27.4 million. It is said the auction has added Rs200 million to the national kitty.
A member of the auction committee said that six bulletproof vehicles and 55 other vehicles were sold during the daylong exercise. He said 20 low-priced vehicles were not included in Monday’s auction because of low bids, while 21 armoured vehicles, which could not attract buyers’ attention due to their high prices, would be put up for sale later. He said the auction of most expensive luxury cars would be held after correction of tax anomaly.
102 luxury and surplus vehicles come under the hammer
Major Mohammad Asif, PM Office administrator, told the media that the most expensive luxury vehicles would be put up for sale after re-evaluation of taxes. He said the vehicles that were auctioned off during the day fetched good bids.
Interestingly, the committee had to hold auction of nine vehicles twice, as first successful bidders disappeared without submitting token amount, probably after noticing that they might have given a higher bid.
While talking to reporters at the Parliament House, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain claimed that 70 vehicles had been auctioned off though the auction was still in progress. He said the bombproof and bulletproof vehicles, which were classified as ‘protected’ vehicles, would be offered for sale in the next phase.
Terming the auction successful, the minister said that the objective of this exercise was to send a message to the public that their prime minister was one of them and the government would ensure that public money was not wasted.
During the auction, there was confusion among buyers because of tax rates affixed to vehicles’ windscreens. They had assumed that in case of successful bidding, they would be charged separately against the taxes. In fact, the bidding included tax rates.
“I was interested in Toyota Corolla, but because of tax and duty rates, I did not submit a bid, later on I was told that tax and duty is included in auction amount, except 10 per cent advance tax,” said Mohammad Ali, a prospective buyer. He said participants in the bidding process were expecting low prices of vehicles. He added that old models of cars were sold at prices a little higher than their rates in market.
The vehicles which were put up for sale on Monday included eight BMWs, three cars of 2014 model and three 5000cc SUVs and two 3000cc SUVs of 2016 model. Besides, there were four Mercedes Benz cars of 2016 model including two 4,000cc bulletproof vehicles.
There were 16 Toyota cars, including a 2004 Lexus car, a 2006 Lexus SUV and two 2004 Land Cruisers. The models of eight cars ranged between 2003 and 2013. Also there were four bulletproof Land Cruisers of 2015 model on auction. Three 2013-model Suzuki vehicles, two Cultus cars and one APV, and a Hino bus model 1994 were also among the vehicles of PM House put up for auction.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2018