IT is more than likely that PM's Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin had already received the news about the World Bank's tying its issuing of a $300 million loan to Pakistan to IMF approval when he made his address to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which more or less touched on the main points he had made to the Karachi Chamber, and in which he shared his vision of the Pakistani economy. But perhaps of most interest to the common man was his assertion that the price of oil would soon be brought down to reflect the international decline in prices. He also said that core inflation, presently about 17 percent, should be brought down to about 5 percent. Though that would still be on the high side, it would be much better than the present situation. Most interesting, however, was his saying that there should only be two taxes, income tax and a value-added tax, and one tax collecting agency. He said that he did not understand why the TV licence fee, for example, was in the electricity bill, which is just one example of direct taxes being levied indirectly, and the collecting agency not being the Federal Board of Revenue. He mentioned the TV licence fee in connection with the electricity and gas tariffs, which he decried for being too complicated. The limit on the number of taxes has been a longstanding demand of the business community, with which Mr Tarin, who has headed two banks, is well acquainted, and it seems, with which he agrees. Significantly, he said that the government was cutting both development and non-development expenditure. He did not mention that he was persuading the government to continue development spending as planned, while cutting on non-development expenditure, which was the most sensible course for the government to take currently. He also said that the present government was according agriculture top priority, though he also mentioned industry as receiving government attention. He also spoke of the development of a bond market, and of the formation of a Resolution Trust Corporation. Mr Tarin spoke of a plan the government was working on, which included stabilising the macroeconomic indicators, checking core inflation, bringing down the fiscal deficit, improving tax collection, promoting agriculture, putting in place an integrated energy plan, enhancing the tax:GDP ratio, curtailing non-development expenditures, strengthening industry and strengthening the capital markets. Mr Tarin is in charge of this plan, and if implemented in letter and sprit, it should take the country out of the morass it is in.