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News ID: 28972
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 10:19 - 18 September 2018
TEHRAN, September 18 - Lower-than-expected sales in an auction of Pakistani government vehicles have dealt another early setback to new Prime Minister Imran Khan's populist vow to raise quick revenues through cost-cutting, a campaign that has drawn both praise and ridicule.

Pakistan's austerity car auction falls shortTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The auction on Monday raised about 200 million rupees ($1.6 million), government official Mohammad Asif told local Geo TV. That is just one-tenth of the amount he had predicted, and only 61 of just over 100 vehicles were sold.

The event had been billed as part of Khan's drive to give "the nation's wealth to its rightful owners". Critics say most of the measures so far are more symbolism than significant savings.

Former cricket star Khan, 65, took office last month after an election campaign in which he railed against what he denounced as corruption and waste by the two main political parties that ruled for than 50 years in between periods of military rule.

Khan promised to cut costs, including trimming motorcades of government officials and selling public land.

"It is a change of mindset," he said in a speech on Friday. "I will be counting every single rupee I have to spend on me."

Khan's campaign, however, has been somewhat undercut by his near-daily helicopter commute from his home in the hills surrounding Islamabad.

Critics say the cost-cutting so far has been mostly cosmetic. "There is nothing new in the current austerity drive," said political commentator Raza Rumi.

Auctions of aging government vehicles, for example, have taken place for years, with less publicity.

Source: Reuters

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