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Pakistan’s Cabinet Resigns As Part Of Revamp Plan

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani hopes fewer ministers will mean lower costs.

Pakistan's cabinet ministers resigned today as part of a plan to reduce the number of ministers and cut government spending.

Officials said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani now plans to set up a new, smaller cabinet, cutting the number of ministers by around a third.

In comments carried on Pakistani television, Gilani announced today's meeting of the cabinet was to be its last.

Gilani thanked the outgoing ministers, saying "I can very proudly claim that your performance since 31 March, 2008 remained satisfactory given the very difficult circumstances under which we worked throughout this period."

With about 60 ministers and deputy ministers, Pakistan's federal government is said to be one of the largest in the world.

Gilani has been under pressure from the opposition to trim the size of the cabinet at a time when Pakistan's economy is struggling.

The prime minister reportedly will forward the resignations to the president for his acceptance.

compiled from agency reports