OUR parliamentarians deserve a pat on the back for being so caring. It was big of them to pass a resolution in the National Assembly on Tuesday against price-hike after all this time that they have been in power. Undoubtedly, they have scored an important victory against inflation but only inside the parliament. Outside, people are hard pressed, gasping for breath because inflation is breaking all records. One wonders what it is that they could achieve by condemning poverty. The point is that they do not have any arrangement to face the menace head-on. The crippling conditions of the IMF, banning all the subsidies, are already in place exacting a heavy toll on the poor masses. So, either they are groping in the dark or joking with the public. It was really disturbing to see the State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar claiming to have reined in inflation. Her statement that the government was taking steps to fight poverty seems hardly credible because what has been happening is that the downtrodden masses have been bombarded with high prices and nothing else. The purchasing power of the average person has been crippled to the extent that it has become really hard to make both ends meet. What is in store for them is just more trouble. At this point in time, a new wave of price-hike ahead of Eid is making basic foodstuffs out of reach of the majority of people. Most alarming is that the government has refused to take ownership of the situation. It is quite clear from the sugar crisis that the statements to combat inflation are not genuine. In this case, had it dealt with the hoarders in a firm manner, the crisis would not have occurred in the first place. On top of that, the wasteful expenditure manifest in the form of luxury vehicles, foreign junkets, and a lavish display of wealth by almost every member of the ruling dispensation is a gross misuse of the taxpayers' money and also a disservice to the nation. This is not the way elected representatives of the people are supposed to act. The situation is dire. People belonging to low-income groups along with the poor masses need to be invariably sheltered with social safety nets, as they are the ones hit hard by the government's half-baked economic policies. Turning a blind eye to this section would be a recipe for disaster. This is not the time to make speeches in the parliament and pass resolutions that are totally useless. It is time to act forcefully against poverty. The government should be worrying about the political cost of its governance. More and more people are taking to the streets protesting the general injustice they have been subjected to. Time's fast running out.