THE coming budget is likely to rely on exhortation to make car manufacturers increase production, and preserve manufacturers' permission to import used cars. As such, the consumer will get no relief from this budget, and manufacturers will continue to make abnormal profits off them. The practice of 'on' payments, premium paid over and above the list price, will continue. Under industry pressure the government has decided to continue the import of vehicles which are more than three years old, instead of opening the market so as to increase the supply of vehicles and thus bring prices down. Thus the government has escaped doing anything for any consumer in the coming budget, which will be replete with taxes imposed on the directions of the IMF. At the same time, it has kept the automobile manufacturing sector happy, while avoiding questions about the manufacturers' deletion programmes. The auto manufacturers may have a myriad excuses for their failure to convert from assemblers of imported parts to actual manufacturers, mostly international, ranging from the world downturn to the depreciation of the rupee, but the fact remains that they were committed to have more and more items made locally and used in manufacture, which they have used their clout to avoid. As a result, there has been an 'on' premium placed on vehicles, further jacking up prices which are already high. The problems of the auto-manufacturing sector have received no attention from the IMF, and thus have remained unheeded. However, when making the national budget, the government should not abdicate its responsibilities to look after the welfare of the ordinary citizen, and should look beyond the IMF's dictation to do what is right. In this case, it means so increasing the supply of vehicles by import that prices of local products are forced down. However, the government sees the sector as very powerful, and the IMF sees it as a source of future taxation, to be kept for milking in coming times.