THE Finance Ministry's Mid-Year Review of the Economy has indicated that the IMF-set target of fiscal control, and consequent reduction in government spending, has been achieved by cuts in development spending, while not impacting on nondevelopment spending, where the IMF itself meant the savings were to be made. Instead, the federal government continues to expand, with the new ministers intent on spending like nobody's business, from the nondevelopment budget. The Review brings little good news, with 'pressures' being blamed for high inflation and macroeconomic imbalances, which are the explanation for GDP growth of only 3.4 percent when revised. This has resulted from a current account deficit up by 30.1 percent, a trade deficit up by 15.3 percent, while foreign investment has actually fallen, by 1.4 percent. Inflation at 24.4 percent is well above the annual target. The government had decided to follow the IMF target very closely, with the result that the fiscal deficit reached 1.9 percent of projected GDP after the end of the first half of the current fiscal, which was consistent with the annual target of 4.2 percent. This was achieved by the elimination of oil subsidies and the cut in development spending, according to the Review itself. The elimination of oil subsidies impacted negatively on the consumer, but cutting development expenditure meant cutting growth, impacting adversely on all. Instead of cutting back on nondevelopment spending, the government has increased it by increasing the number of ministries to accommodate more parties. As a result of there being more ministers, more departments have to be created, with a full complement of bureaucrats, all of which are funded from nondevelopment expenditure. If the PML-Q joins the Federal Cabinet, there will be more splitting of portfolios, and thus of departments, with the result that there will be no way of capping nondevelopment spending, which is the key to control over expenditure as a whole.