HOW to look at the government's decision to revise parts of the budget? First of all, before any discussion into the economics of the revisions, a comment on the politics is to be made. That the government, which can, under convention, pass whatever it wants in the Finance Bill, heeded advice from the floor of the National Assembly, is quite something. The supremacy of the parliament, that representative aggregation of our teeming millions, is further established by it. The belief that the chamber as a whole also has some bearing on policy as opposed to the diktat of a handful of executives from within the house can spur up public interest in the electoral process. The decision to give a raise of 20 percent to government employees as opposed to the 15 percent previously planned is obviously a result of populist appeals to the effect. Now, although this would not have been uninformed populism, the inflation rate being what it is, it is not known how the government's stretched coffers are going to finance this increment. Political expediency couldn't have been the purpose. And if it were, the government doesn't seem to have marketed it well. This is one thing that should have been thought out earlier on. The government's decision to exempt CNG from the carbon tax would give a relief of Rs 12 billion to the consumers, said Ms Hina Rabbani Khar. That is commendable; it is not good for the government to constantly be playing the accountant. There is to be some relief or the other to the polity. But the decision to take back the 20 paise tax on SMS is baffling. There might have been lobbying by the powerful telecom lobby to the effect but SMS is hardly a necessity. And the 20 paise would have hardly been a disincentive. If a lot of these messages are given free by the company, then the government could have at least taxed the ones the company was actually earning off. The SMS tax was a better idea than the alternate decision of increasing the FED on cellular service, which just might be more of a disincentive.