The oil price-hike with which the government ushered in the New Year has been greeted with a wave of protests which has involved its allies, as well as the parties in opposition, with the PML(N) and the Jamaat Islami joining the ANP and the MQM in moving resolutions against the price-hike. The wave of condemnation is not yet over, but the round of price rises in affected goods, including food items, has already started. Perhaps inevitably, the increases began with transport charges, both of goods and people, with goods transporters and the intercity transporters announcing increases without waiting for the government to do so. The increase in transport costs set off a round of increases all over, with the ghee manufacturers announcing an increase, while the atta millers are due to do so (today). The increase in prices due to the rise in intercity fares will take place later. Now that fuel prices have gone up, the CNG price will also be raised, in turn affecting motorists, as well as cities which do not have a Sui gas supply, through more expensive cylinders. The Sui gas price will also go up, with inflationary effects, but also affecting electricity production, which will further drive away export orders at a time when Pakistan needs more exports to pay for its imports. All of this is in addition to the inflation raging through the economy. The State Bank of Pakistan has blamed this inflation on the central government spending and borrowing from the banking system. However, the constant increase in fuel prices which it carries out is not factored in by the SBP, which only blamed direct government spending for its inflationary effect. This shows that the government is unable to meet the requirements of the people, which are for prices to be stable and reasonable. The governments inability to control its spending shows that it is unable to control the army of ministers it has, who are intent on maintaining their taxpayer-subsidised lifestyles, and see their membership of Parliament not as the responsibility it is supposed to be, but as an opportunity. To begin with, the government must pay attention to the opposition, and heed the call for the reversal of the hike. Never before has an oil price rise been met with quite so broad, and quite so substantial, rises in other prices. The government must not regard this reaction as an opposition reflex, but as a sign of genuine concern. Apart from reversing the oil price rises, the government must also bring a rigorous halt to its free-spending ways, if it wants to bring inflation back under control.