LAHORE - The government instead of playing with words should focus on unemployment, decreasing prices of essential commodities, poverty eleviation, education and agriculture in the upcoming Budget 2010-11 as over 90 per cent of the population is directly affected by these issues. These views were expressed by the people from various segments of society during a survey conducted by The Nation on Wednesday. The present democratic government has totally failed to provide any economic relief to the masses as prices of all basic needs have gone beyond the purchasing power of the people. If the government in the coming budget used only lofty words to paint a rosy picture before the people like in the past, then no one can stop the masses from coming on the roads. An employee of Agriculture Department M Rafique said his salary was 8,000 and he challenged economic managers to work out his monthly budget for his family with this meagre money. He said after paying children fees and utility bills, he is hardly left with 3000 rupees in his pocket within which his six-member family cannot eat chicken, beef and fruits. Where should we go, he quizzed with disappointment and urged the government to keep his plight in view while framing the next budget. A Punjab University Professor Munawar said reducing the rate of unemployment and improvement in the living conditions of the people should be the first and foremost priority of the government, if the economic wheel of the country has to be moved smoothly. He said education sector should be on the top most priority as if you want to make better and prosperous generation. A housewife Shahnaz Asharf said prices of flour, sugar and other utilities, various pulses have increased more than 100 per cent in a year and despite that fact she did not have a large family, she was facing serious economic constraints and was living hand to mouth. She said free better education to the poor and subsidy on basic food items should be the governments priorty in the coming budget. Muhammad Abid, a private company employee said government was entangling nation on non-issues instead of addressing those relating to their survival. He said the government and opposition have so far given their time to the issues like judges appointment, constitutional amendments, and conslolidated their powers while the real issues like loadshedding, gas inflation, taxes theft, increasing trends in poverty, rule of mafias remained behind the curtain. Mummad Arslan, a student said in every budget government focuses on growth rate while the ground realty was that benefits of growth did not reach the gross roots. He said fair and permanent policies were required for the betterment of agriculture, environment, transportation and business sector. Muhammad Ahmed, Hall Road trader said sales tax should be decreased from 16 per cent to 10 per cent to promote trade and economy and government should eliminate unnecessary bars on imports in budget. He said by giving better facilities to the business community every sector could gain boom. Another trader said poverty rate stands increased from 45 per cent to 50 per cent, inflation 22 per cent while the banks were giving loans at 11 per cent to 17 per cent and in this conditions the seriousness of the government towards poverty elimination would be depicted by its budget announcement after few days.