The last time meals were banned during the Nawaz regime in 1988, Rs 200-300 per person were charged by hotels for a single bottle of cold drink plus hall. The barats coming from outside had to be fed elsewhere adding to overall cost for parents of the newly-weds, making this political stunt a very costly one for the general public. The current one-dish is also of no help as far as marriage costs are concerned. It is total cost of hall plus meals and the marriage itself that matter. If there were an upper limit on price per person per meal, that would be some relief. -M. SHAIKH, Islamabad, via e-mail, December 28.