IT is a matter of great shame that just when the month of Ramazan is about to start, the government has raised the price of sugar and electricity. It is simply unbelievable that the government could raise the sugar price by as much as Rs 10. This confirms the perception that it was actually fearful of the sugar mafia from day one, whose sole interest is that of making maximum profits. Some of these sugar barons, as earlier pointed out by former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, happen to be parliamentarians, making it difficult for the government to lay a hand on them. However, the lack of will to fight corruption has led the authorities to give a carte blanche to mill owners to sell sugar at exceptionally high rates. Likewise, electricity prices are frequently raised, courtesy the governments obedience to the IMF. The recent raise has been that of 64 paisas, but there is little doubt that this would have a very negative impact on the budget of ordinary consumers. The situation assumes horrific proportions given the pre-Ramzan inflation that, to all intents and purposes, is a result of the governments indifference to keep the unscrupulous elements within the merchants community under check. One would have wished that the rulers had given some relief to the public. Unfortunately, the only aspect of leadership that is visible is a struggle for political survival. There is virtually no plan to control poverty and inflation. More than two years have passed, yet the ruling junta continues to flog the previous regime for the present state of the economy. The question here is: werent they elected to show a better performance? Clearly, there is neither any sense of duty nor a sense of direction, partly because opportunistic individuals ruling the roost are little bothered about what happens to the man in the street.