luxury government vehicles in a drive to cut costs in a country where most survive on the equivalent of 25 U.S. cents a day.

All orders for luxury four-wheel drive Toyota Land Cruiser Prados are to be halted and those already bought will be sold at auction, government spokesman Karenga Ramadhani said Tuesday.

"One Prado consumes 118 litres of oil when it is full. Two full tanks is the equivalent of a minister's salary (325,000 francs or $313). This is useless spending," Ramadhani said.

"The decision aims to reduce government expenses and deal with fundamental needs of the population," he said.

From now on, government will budget between $8,000-$10,000 per vehicle compared to the current figure of $47,000-$70,000.

Critics have frequently accused governments and aid organizations across Africa of wasting money on expensive cars. The continent's many bad roads and long distances are cited as a justification for the four-wheel drives.

Restarting Burundi's economy and creating jobs is among the chief tasks facing newly-elected President Pierre Nkurunziza after more than a decade of civil war that killed 300,000 people and paralyzed the tiny coffee grower's economy.

A series of elections designed to end the war between rebels from the Hutu majority and the Tutsi elite has raised hopes of rejuvenating the economy and encouraged donors to look at new development aid.

In a similar move, neighboring Rwanda announced this month it had impounded over 1,000 government vehicles to be sold at auction in a bid to cut spending in a country where more than half the budget is financed from foreign donors.

"Where is the problem in copying a good example of good governance?" Ramadhani said.

A former physical education lecturer and Hutu rebel leader, Nkurunziza styles himself as a man of the people, eschewing ties and suits.

Government ministers have also been asked to limit official trips abroad in an effort to save money.

"Only urgent trips and trips which can bring money to the country are authorized," Ramadhani said.