Bidding documents for withdrawn leaders' cars available Monday
Bidding documents to auction luxury cars withdrawn from leaders, a significant move to cut lavish state spending on vehicles, will be available on Monday until February 20.
Interested parties wanting to participate in the tender to purchase up to 14 cars can obtain the documents at the National Convention Centre (NCC) where seven BMW 730 LI and seven Mercedes Benz S350 vehicles are being displayed.
Winners of the bid(s) will be announced on February 21, 9 pm at the NCC, according to an announcement issued on Wednesday by the Prime Minister's Office.
Starting prices for the bidding cars had not been decided as the committee in charge was scheduled to hold discussions today when the prices are expected to be identified, according to a coordinating official in charge of bidding affairs.
“The starting prices will be later informed through local media outlets,” the official said, who wished to remain unnamed.
The withdrawal of the vehicles is seen as a remarkable move by the country's leadership to cut extravagant expenditure and exercise frugality as leaders of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and the government.
The 14 cars have been withdrawn from top and second level leaders, who announced they are setting an example in frugality. It (the withdrawal) is made in line with a new Prime Ministerial Decree issued early last month to regulate the provision of vehicles to leaders. The decree cuts expenditure on vehicles, fuel and maintenance costs.
More luxury cars purchased for state affairs will be withdrawn from service. Excessive numbers of vehicles provided previously will also be taken back.
“This is the first batch of withdrawals and bidding. More cars will be taken back,” the official said.
However, the precise timeframe for further withdrawal had not been decided, he stated, adding that it would be the next step after the first batch was successfully put on the market.
In total, 36 Mercedes-Benz vehicles, comprising 15 S-Class and 21 E-Class sedans, have been purchased for use in state affairs by central and local departments, such as receiving foreign guests, while some have been provided for high-ranking officials. These numbers included those already withdrawn.
BMWs have been withdrawn from all current leaders and all remaining Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be taken back to be sold through tender at later dates.
It is believed that excessive cars were provided to leading officials previously, which are now subject to be taken back.
Under the new decree, top-level leaders including the President, Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, and members of the Politburo will be provided three vehicles – a car, an SUV and a pick-up. Second level leaders including the Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Vice President, Vice President of the National Assembly and Deputy Prime Ministers will be provided two vehicles – a car and an SUV.
Third level leaders including members of the Party Central Committee, ministers, chairpersons of NA committees and provincial governors will be provided two vehicles – a car and a pick-up, while the fourth level leaders including deputy ministers, vice chairpersons of NA committees and deputy provincial governors will be provided with a car.
(Latest Update February 10, 2017)