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Austerity drive to cut down on govt vehicles boosts auctions

China’s reform of government vehicles has boosted car auctions, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang said on Aug 18.

Auctions of government cars totaled 1.13 billion yuan ($180 million) during the first half, up 79.4 percent year-on-year.

China’s central authorities released a guideline in July to reform the supply and use of government vehicles in an effort to cut hefty spending amid mounting public complaints over misuse of public money.

Under the guideline, China will scrap vehicles for use in regular government affairs and keep only those for special services, such as intelligence communication and emergencies. The central government will instead allocate a “proper amount” in subsidies to public servants to allow them to choose their own means of transportation.

Shen said cities including Wenzhou and Shanghai have piloted such reforms since 2011 and auctions of government vehicles have climbed since then.

Data showed that between 2011 and June of 2014, government vehicle auctions totaled 4.66 billion yuan, with Shanghai, the provinces of Shandong, Guangdong and Zhejiang as well as the Inner Mongolia autonomous region accounting for more than 43 percent of the auction value.