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China expropriates 3,000 government cars

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — The central government has impounded 3,184 official vehicles and plans to auction the first 300 before the Spring Festival, said the National Government Offices Administration (N A) on Friday.

Three assessment agencies have been contracted to evaluate the condition of these cars and to verify their legal documentation before they are auctioned, said a statement from the administration.

The first batch of vehicles will be auctioned before Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 19 this year, the statement said.

These official cars were taken out of service as part of reform measures that began last July to slash spending in this area.

According to guidelines, government vehicles can only be used for special services, such as intelligence communication and emergencies, and not regular government affairs .

The central government’s measures were introduced in 2014 and local governments have until sometime in 2015 to fully implement the orders.

Three Beijing-based auction houses, which won the public bidding, will handle the auctions.

These cars are in good condition thanks to regular attention, said Xu Yongsheng, deputy head of the N A’s state assets management division.

The money raised by the auctions will go to the central treasury and the whole process will watched closely by the auditing agency, discipline inspection agency and the public, Xu said.

The cars on offer are featured on the websites of the auction houses.

In Beijing, in an effort to limit the number of vehicles, residents who want to own a car must first obtain a license plate by throwing their driving license numbers into a bi-monthly lottery.

Due to the lottery’s success ceiling, license plates have become a hot commodity.

As a result, the license plates of these cars will not be auctioned together with the cars, Xu said., adding that they will not be sold with their license plates.

It will be unfair for lottery participants if the cars came with license plates, said Han Tao, general manager of Rocar, one of the three auction houses.

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