Mahateer Abu Mohammad, godfather and architect of Malaysian economical boom, once said that individuals and nations cannot rise, grow and withstand on loan funding. Last Saturday, Finance Minister announced that Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) has been cut from Rs. 280 billion to 180 billion, thus closing all avenues to numerous projects and programmes countrywide. A further Rs 40 billion will be cut at later stage. If the money looted and plundered during last few years is recovered honestly, it will make up for the gap of Rs.140 billion. Although the balance of payment is in dilapidated condition, debt burden has risen enormously, and yet the economy is not facing any crunch as can be seen from recent announcement of building Parliament lodges for Rs.3 billion and ban lifting from foreign visits of Ministers and their cronies. Enrichment of motorcades and so on and so froth. For the satisfaction of ordinary man, OGRA is planning, as appeared in various reports, to raise petroleum prices from 8 to 10 percent. To cope with the monsters of price hike and inflation, a paradigm shift is essential. Austerity in letter and spirit is required to be exercised. Punjab government has started rightsizing. Others have to follow the suit. Its time to think and act sagaciously. IFTIKHAR SHAHEEN MIRZA, Islamabad, January 25.