Pakistan to abolish 10 ministries: PM

17:13, October 12, 2010      

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Pakistan will cut the size of its federal cabinet in two months to reduce burden on the national exchequer, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday.

In April the parliament of Pakistan had voted unanimously in favor of measures which limit key presidential powers and also suggested slashing the cabinet size.

The prime minister was required to cut the size of his cabinet to 11 percent of the membership of the parliament (both houses) as laid down by a key amendment in the constitution.

Gilani said that 10 federal ministries would be relieved by the end of the year or early next year.

The measures known as 18th amendment has also transferred certain powers from the office of the president to the prime minister and take away his power to dismiss elected governments.

"Cut in the size would help in bringing about a reshuffle in the cabinet. The federal cabinet will be trimmed according to the 18th Amendment," Gilani told reporters in Islamabad.

Currently Pakistan, with 160-million population, has over 60 ministers, including several advisors with the status of ministers.

The amendment suggested that the Federal Cabinet strength must be 11 percent of the total strength of the Parliament which at present stood at 342 members in the National Assembly and 100 members in the Senate.

The opposition and members of the civil society has been urging the coalition government to slash the size of the cabinet to ease burden on the national economy. The demand gained momentum after the floods devastated many parts of Pakistan over the past two months.

Under the 18th Amendment a large number of ministries, divisions and departments would be devolved to the provinces.

Gilani is leading a coalition of five major parties and independent groups and he is obliged to accommodate all sides in the cabinet.



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