Our Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, the other day has said in the parliament that if the taxes were not imposed, from where would he get money to run the government. He said it so innocently as if he and his army of ministers are living a very austere life and taking great pains for the welfare of the masses. I bet if he reduces the number of ministers to 20, ensures austerity in PM and Presidents houses where over rupees one million daily expenditure is being incurred reduces number of trips in personal planes of governors, chief ministers and of course of Rehman Malik by ensuring travel in commercial flights and strict control on official transport, he would have enough money to run the country. Besides, these steps, he should also recover money from his favorites who minted billions in getting their loans written off, heading lucrative organizations like Pakistan Steel, Railways, PIA, OGDCL, NICL etc. He should also cut down frequent lavish parties at government expense and treatment or check up abroad of sick VIPs who can be treated in the country. The case of Haris Steel Mill has been hushed up as many bigwigs are involved in it who benefited by taking heavy bribes from the culprits. There are scores of other corrupt people from whom he can recover money if he has the will and courage to be honest. Perhaps he does not realise that every tax or increase in fuel and electricity rates jacks up the prices of daily commodities, which hits the common man badly. The parliamentarians and government officials have all the luxuries provided by the state. MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA, November 24.