The IMF and Pakistan have reached an agreement which might lead to the IMF releasing the tranche held up since last year under its Standby Agreement, but at the cost of Pakistan conceding the IMFs conditions, which amount to imposing the burdens of taxation and inflation on the common man. That is all, it seems, Pakistan gained from the prolongation of the talks, which only ended after the IMF extended the teams stay. The IMFs pet demand, the RGST, is very much there, and it is possible that the government may promulgate an ordinance to enforce the promised taxation measures. Such an ordinance would come in place of the passage by the National Assembly that had been rendered doubtful by the governmental crisis provoked by the MQMs reaction to remarks by the Sindh Home Minister. The RGST has gone through the Senate along with the flood cess. Apart from these taxes, there is also an increase in the sales tax rate. Besides, the consumer will be placed under further pressure because of the hikes in the electricity tariff that have been promised. Once those measures had been tied up at the beginning of the week, it was relatively simple to put figures on this years targets, with a budget deficit of 5.3 percent of GDP agreed on, GDP growth itself targeted at 2.75 percent and inflation at 15 percent. These revised targets overtake those revisions which were made after the flood. However it seems that neither the government nor the IMF is bothered that the entire burden is being placed on the ordinary consumer, and there are no economy measures to help balance the budget, which would stop the continued frittering away of taxpayers money on the luxurious lifestyles of those presently enjoying the perks of office. There has also been no attempt to tap those sectors which so far have escaped the tax net, particularly agriculture. The IMFs continued complicity with the Government of Pakistan against its people continues to prove that its sole purpose is to act as a lever to force countries, including Pakistan, to toe the American line. The agreement with the IMF will do nothing more than tie Pakistan closer to the USA. For this reason alone, it should be rescinded. Not only would that mean that the economy would be saved from destructive inflationary measures and taxation legislation, but it would also be popular with the population. That is an important consideration for a government which finds itself heading towards a general election, and would serve to convince a government whose priorities did not include living off the taxpayer, and obedience to the USA.