Analysts are going to term the new government's fact sheet as a set of excuses against the sky-high expectations of the masses while others would consider it unveiling of the bitter reality. At the same time, the people of the country appear to be least concerned about both the views on the economy rather they were looking forward to receive certain relief by the new government. Whereas, Ishaq Dar while issuing the fact sheet has ruled out any provision of some special relief to the masses in the next six months to come. A broader view of the recent economic history of the country would reveal that the successive rulers have made it a cycle of blame game holding the predecessors for the upfront issues and anomalies of the economy. It was not that far in the history that former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, immediately after taking over as the then Finance Minister of the country in 2000 had come up with a confession of figure fudging. Same as Dar issued a lengthy fact sheet against the former regime, Shaukat Aziz had announced in a press conference that Pakistan voluntarily exposed the figure fudging of over $50 million to the International Monetary Fund. It was interesting to note that the IMF quite generously wrote off the amount was claimed to be fudged by the last regime of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) and admitted by the following military regime. Rather than being between the two regimes, it appears to be a blame game between Ishaq Dar and Shaukat Aziz, a chartered accountant and a banker. Although he made Finance Minister of late in 1999, Ishaq Dar was holding the portfolio of finance when the Nawaz Sharif government was overthrown by the then army chief General (rtd) Pervez Musharraf. However, both Ishaq Dar and his predecessor from the same then ruling party Sartaj Aziz did not respond to the claims of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz that the figure fudging on the IMF account with Pakistan was done in their tenure. It seems as if the history has been repeating itself. Moeen Afzal was Secretary Finance during the period when the figure fudging was claimed done. Whereas the same incumbent was heading the Finance Ministry as Secretary General under Shaukat Aziz when the so-called fudging was exposed. Similarly, Dr Ashfaq Hassan Khan who remained part and parcel of the Finance Ministry throughout the Musharraf regime wherein Shaukat Aziz kept the finance portfolio initial as Finance Minister and later as Prime Minister, was sitting along Ishaq Dar when he was issuing the latest fact sheet on the economy. Dr Khan left no stone unturned during the tenure of Shaukat Aziz to prove whatever his boss used to say as right without any doubt. In the same manner he did not objected even an iota of the fact sheet issued by his current boss to the previous one. Thus one time statement of Ishaq Dar that "Dr Ashfaq never disappoints his boss came true." Dar had made this statement about Dr Khan during a pre-budget seminar of The Nation some years back. Time would proof that who was right and who was not. The expertise of both the imported and the homegrown economy experts in economic gimmicks rather indicate rare chances of the masses ever knowing the actual fact of the economy. Far more important than the fact sheets for the people of the country is the provision of basic good and services, which is nowhere in sight. Not only that the apparent state of the economy was to deny any relief to the masses, the new Finance Minister has also made it clear that the previous government left no room for them to facilitate masses any way. Besides negation of all claims of "unprecedented economic growth", breaking the begging bowl and taking the poor out of poverty Dr claimed that the previous economy managers fudged figures to the tune of over 300 billion. Unearthing what the Pakistan Democratic Alliance inherited from the Shaukat Aziz-led setup, the Federal Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar shared the "balance sheet" with the media, according to which the real GDP growth will remain at 6 per cent instead of the last government's target of 7.2 per cent for fiscal year 2007-08. More alarming for the masses in the fact sheet was that the inflation would further soar to 10 per cent instead of 6.5 per cent, revenue collection will stand at Rs 990 billion against Rs 1025 billion annual target. The scarcity of the fiscal space with the new government had rendered it helpless not only in provision of relief to the masses but also in protecting them against the ruthless inflation. Most disturbingly, the fiscal deficit that the last government projected at 4 per cent of GDP, or Rs 398 billion, would slip to an alarming 9.5 per cent of GDP if the new government did nothing in correcting the anomalies. Though the Minister talked of a plan to restrict it to 6 per cent of GDP, he made successful try to prove through figures that the Shaukat Aziz-led economic team fudged the figures to show the budget deficit at 4 per cent of GDP. Contrary to the expectation of relief, the Minister hinted at increasing oil prices to contain the budget deficit. It pertinent to be mentioned here just before the new government's searing in, the former caretaker regime had already increased oil prices twice. Therefore, the thing Dar hardly mentioned in his fact sheet was the linkage of the petroleum prices to the international crude rate by the Shaukat Aziz led economy managers. Empowering of the parliament on economic issues and strengthening the NA Standing Committee on Finance to investigate matters, was nothing more than typical rhetoric. Dar linked inflation with money supply, which according to the estimates, would remain at 19 per cent against the projection of 13.7 per cent. The current account deficit will widen to 9.2 per cent against the budget projection of 4.8 per cent. The reserves will melt down to $ 11 billion if no action was taken but he said the government had a roadmap to generate about $ 2.5 billion to keep it at $ 13.7 billion. Dar said the reserves will be enough to finance 3 to 4 months worth of imports. He said Pakistan's credit rating would remain at B2/B. About GDP growth, the Finance Minister said the agriculture sector will grow at rate of 3.8 per cent of GDP instead of 4.8 per cent, the Large Scale Manufacturing sector would grow by 7.5 per cent against target of 10.5 per cent, Manufacturing sector will register a growth of 7.1 per cent over the target of 9.9 per cent and other sectors will grow at 6.8 per cent against the target of 7.1 per cent. According to the incumbent finance minister, the un-adjustable budget items, inaction and mismanagement of the previous government has brought the country at disaster level. The last government under budgeted Rs 318 billion in the budgetary documents to hide the facts from the masses aimed at gaining vested interests. He said the last regime left a bulk of Rs 522 billion on account of many factors, including various subsidies for the new government and it was now facing a towering challenge how to arrange this money. The Minister reminded that this amount was roughly half of total government revenues.