PML(N) Quaid, Mian Nawaz Sharif, has come out with a strong statement against corruption, and has said that the present government is losing the confidence of the people because of it. While being briefed by Khudai Noor, Balochistan head of the PML(N) organising committee, about the organisational matters there, he said it was highly unfortunate that the corruption scandals of the present government had deprived it of public trust at a time when it was required to pay heed to resolving the problems of the people of Balochistan and to take steps for the rehabilitation of the national economy. Mian Nawaz was right in pointing out perhaps the main flaw in the present system: that it has thrown up a government which has been afflicted by corruption scandals even before the Supreme Courts overturning the NRO verdict had resulted in the restoration of old corruption cases, including those involving millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains in the Swiss cases. The present government has not paid enough attention to the problems of the people, to the point where they have erupted in violent protests in the capital and elsewhere. The only attention being paid is to loadshedding, and the solution the government has come up with is through the Rental Power Plants, which are distinctly fishy in nature, with the Asian Development Bank reporting against them. Then there is the Federal Board of Revenue, which former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said had failed to collect Rs 500 billion in taxes, but which the World Bank said was actually Rs 800 billion. Then there are the various state-owned corporations, among them Pakistan Steel Mills, which are losing Rs 250 billion a year, as Mr Tarin identified. If the federal government was to prevent the revenue leakages which are occurring, and get rid of the loss-making enterprises, it would not need to impose the VAT that is all but certain to be brought in this budget. But before that, the government must end the accusation of corruption, which has reached the extent that political forces allied to the government, must also echo the same. To end this accusation, the government must not only ensure that it is clean, but that it is also seen to be clean. This will probably involve not just much effort, but a change in attitude towards what politics is all about. However, if that change is not made, the PPP should be prepared to be beaten at the hustings. It should also be prepared to be deserted by its allies who will not want to be associated with the PPP at election time.