FINANCE Minister Shaukat Tarin, gave a we'll-smoke-'em-out speech at Karachi the other day about the ever powerful sugar hoarders. He said that the government has instructed all the concerned institutions to take action against these hoarders which will automatically bring down the price of the commodity. He further went to add that these steps would ensure positive changes on this front in only a couple of days. Whereas it is heartening to see Mr Tarin's bravado, he should know better than anyone else his ministry's limitations. Only recently he had expressed great interest in the imposition of an agriculture tax, only for the idea to be shot down by influential landlord legislators before it even came to Parliament. Though the sugar lobby might also comprise small-time hoarding retailers, but the big fish here are the sugar millers themselves. This rich-boys-club spreads across the political divide. They're in the government and the opposition. And if past experience is anything to go by, they sure do watch out for each other; when it comes to this, the club might foster a stronger bond than even party affiliations. True, taking on this mafia would not be quite as tall an order as imposing an agriculture tax, but would be tough nonetheless. If, however, the steps that he laid down in his speech are actually carried out, it would definitely yield the results that he mentioned. Tackling the sugar lobby is not rocket science; it's only a matter of dismantling the vile network of hoarders and blackmarketeers. All it requires is political will. Mustering the requisite level of will is an apt and effective test for the incumbent government.