This is with reference to an article titled 'The IMF bailout' by Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik published in The Nation dated 28-11-08. Pakistan has just received the first IMF payment of $3.1 billion out of the agreed amount of $7. 6 billion. The government of Pakistan tried to secure loans and investment from various other quarters but those endeavors did not bear any fruit. To save the country from falling into bankruptcy, the leaders turned to the IMF for a bailout plan. Conditions were negotiated and renegotiated to make them as people-friendly as possible. Some very harsh conditions were also accepted by the government because it was stuck in a quagmire of economic difficulties left by the previous regime. The government is not reassuring the poor that they need not panic. The expected tax on agriculture is not being levied right now and will not be on the books for quite some time now. They say all the other sectors are also going to be brought into the tax net, which is what the economy really needs now. Since the major chunk of this money is going to be invested under monitoring of the IMF, corruption will automatically be checked. The Prime Minister has rightly said that this package would bring better governance and improved economic planning. -MAHA MASOOD, Lahore, via e-mail, November 28.