PM's Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin's admission that the growth target set by the government is unlikely to be met, reflects poorly on its performance on the monetary front. This is bad news. Mr Tarin's observation that there would be no reduction in the prices of petroleum products is all the more disconcerting for the general public. Since major components of the economy; agriculture and industry for instance, rely on the use of petroleum products, their high prices will further hamper the economic growth. His reason, that the present price structure allows the government to earn Rs 12 billion a month, does not make much sense to the cash-strapped public. The government has been reminded several times that it needs to cut its coat according to its cloth, reduce its budget deficit and exercise austerity measures. But as ill luck would have it, the advice has fallen on deaf ears. There is little doubt that bad governance is largely responsible for the budget deficit. The expanded Cabinet is an example where extra ministries have been created merely to accommodate coalition partners. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's directive to ministers to use 1600 cc vehicles has been turned down, as most of them have luxury cars, besides enjoying other perks and privileges. This constitutes a huge burden on the national exchequer. Worse still is the news appearing in a paper the other day, that parliamentary secretaries have refused to get non-luxury vehicles. There is a need on the part of the government to improve governance, levy taxes on those powerful groups whose income is scarcely touched by taxation, like those conducting transactions in the share market, landlords and others. Given the ongoing inflationary spiral, the government should do all it can to provide immediate relief to the masses.