Accessibility links

Pakistan Gets Smaller Cabinet In Austerity Drive

Members of a new, smaller Pakistani government took an oath of office today, as part of an effort by the ruling party to shrink the bureaucratic apparatus and save money.

Most of the incoming ministers appeared to be holdovers from the previous cabinet, which was dissolved earlier this week. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani presided as 22 officials sat around a table designated for the new cabinet -- though it was not clear if that would be the final number of ministers.

Three key ministries -- finance, interior, and law -- retained the same heads.

The previous cabinet had 54 ministers. Opposition leaders have demanded that a smaller cabinet take over.

contributed from agency reports