The June Budget is getting its finishing touches and while the general public need not expect manna from the skies, we are told there are hard times ahead for VVIPs as well. It seems their fleet of 21 aircraft is to be withdrawn as one austerity measure and as another, their army of luxury cars could be replaced by smaller four-wheelers. However, as official cars go, the VVIPs, in and out of uniform, would not go as downmarket as Suzuki Mehran, probably because history informs us that such pennypinching cost he late PM Junejo his top job and more. We are told that after the budget, our VVIPs in and out of uniform would have to suffer being driven in Honda Civics, subject to their agreement of course. At least one military secretary has already been consulted on whether such a lowly vehicle can be fitted with bulletproof armour to protect our protectors and masters. Now this is what you call rough living. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * There is one realtor who has become a legend in his lifetime mainly because he offers lifestyle-altering housing developments, markets them aggressively and makes pots of money for himself and his friends. Among other bright ideas, he is known to have incorporated mock Trafalgar Squares and desi Champs-Elyses in some of his housing projects, instantly transporting buyers into the world of their dreams. Apparently the realtor has now switched his attention to upgrading his own family image. We hear that a study has been carried out on what it would cost to socially uplift some thirty relatives, giving them upmarket residential addresses and placing them in the right old boys network. The cost was placed at Rs 60 crores. We hear the realtor did not blink an eyelid at the high price tag of polishing up the family tree. He has given the go-ahead for his very own dream project. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Star anchor of a lively news channel also a doctor of medicine known for his vitriolic fulminations on the idiot box as well as for the heftiest amount he was being paid for his labour by the private news channel has joined the government owned channel PTV as chairman. The new appointment has raised many an eyebrow in the media circles, conventional wisdom being that the more you abuse the powers that be in print or electronic media, the bigger the awards. Quite a few hacks are reportedly vying for plum ambassadorships and ministries and in the process have become even more critical of the power behind the throne. Another rumour has it that the new Chairman wants PTV to be an autonomous corporation not under the thumb of Ministry of Information. The lady minister better watch out. Next, the wily doctor will want her job