ISLAMABAD Since the Governments options for resource mobilisation are squeezing down with lending countries insisting upon taxing the rich Pakistanis for gigantic need of over $25 billion post-floods reconstruction, it is bound to cut development allocations drastically. Dimmed hopes for foreign assistance were brightened up a bit at the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) meeting on October 15 at Brussels where Pakistan convinced the US, the top donor, to route at least 50 percent of its assistance through the government systems. So far 80 percent, according to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilanis recent statement, and almost 100 percent, according to the officials of the Finance Minister, of the US flood-related relief and rehabilitation assistance was pouring in directly in the non-governmental sector outside the government systems. That is why we have asked them (the US and other donors) that 'how you give matters more than 'how much aid you give us, said Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs, who was part of the FODP delegation to Brussels. She told this scribe that it was not just an event for pledges but it was an important step in the FODP process that would lead to Pakistan Development Forum (PDF) meeting here in the next month. The PDF meet here that would be a donors conference on November 14-15 was aimed at presenting the need for reconstruction of areas devastated by floods and rehabilitation of the affected people. Earlier sources told TheNation that having no pledges or commitment at hand so far, the Government was bound to cut development allocations to meet the needs for additional resources required for reconstruction. Last year the Government cut development allocations by 50 percent for extra expenditures on war against terror. This time it is going to cut development budget by more than even half of it under the garb of reprioritising projects and diverting funds to the reconstruction, the sources added. Its functionaries like Deputy Chairman Planning Commission had already told some journalists that the Government diverted at least 30 percent of Public Sector Development Programme and was asking the province to do the same. Notwithstanding the US and other donors unequivocally asking the Government to tax its rich and affluent elite, the next sword of the tax would come down on the poor consumers in the form of an indirect tax. TheNation has already reported that there was staunch opposition to flood tax (either wealth tax or income tax surcharge) and the Government was left with no option but to tax the poor through so-called Reform General Sales Tax (RGST) across the board at a flat but higher rate. In nutshell, the Government of the elite was unlikely to tax the elitist grapevine and would convince donors that imposition of RGST would improve tax to GDP ratio, the sources predicted. That is why, the sources added, it always cuts the development budget that is the meagre share of the poor in annual allocations. For instance the sources mentioned that on the pretext of resource crunch, the Capital Development Authority has stopped roads repair other than the VIP routes making the life of commuters further miserable. At the same time, one could not notice even a glimpse of resource crunch in both expenditure on VIP routes maintenance and in lifestyle of high-ups of CDA functionaries, the sources added.