According to press reports, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said Pakistan is likely to receive much less from the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) than they had originally pledged to provide. The pledged amount, we might recall, had been included in the federal budget 2010-11 by mistake, which envisages US$ 2 billion as expected 'revenue from FoDP. That, it seems, would not coming into the national kitty. Finance Minister, lets give him his due, at least has the moral courage to admit his mistakes. But there is now the question of the hole in the budget for which, no other option, further taxes have to be levied on those few who are already paying various taxes on their income. May one ask, though, why Finance Minister has failed to tax income of the big landlords of agriculture, which he promised the IMF to do while implementing other conditionalities of IMF on general, and very poor, public by increasing the electricity and gas prices? And why cant the federal government save enough by closing down the departments and corporations that contribute nothing? For examples, look no further than the ministries of Privatization, Tourism, Board of Investment, Youth, Culture, Sports etc, etc? Why does government insist on running all such industries that lose tens of billions every year but have to be kept on respirators of taxpayers money to keep them 'alive, or at least 'not-dead? We need a specialist economist as a Finance Minister who can manage income and spending. Unfortunately, we have been appointing professional bankers to the post who are specialists only at borrowing money from abroad and writing off loans at home. -ENGR. S.T. HUSSAIN, Lahore, January 16