ISLAMABAD - The federal ministers Wednesday tendered their resignations Wednesday in line with the oppositions calls for cutting the lavish administrative spending. In the last (76th) cabinet meeting, the ministers handed in their resignations to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as a part of the governments austerity measures thrust upon it by the opposition, mainly the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that has put forth a 10-point reforms agenda. The resigning ministers will continue their duties until a new, truncated cabinet is in place. However, its not clear how many of the outgoing ministers would return to the new cabinet, while critics see the move as window dressing. The PPP, in this regard, is consulting the coalition partners, and the new cabinet may be announced in 48 hours, sources said. However, another report said the new cabinet would be announced within four days. During the 'farewell meeting, the PM said it was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a cabinet has voluntarily agreed to cabinet redesigning with honour and dignity. I can very proudly claim that your performance since March 31, 2008 has been very satisfactory given the difficult circumstances facing us throughout, the PM said while chairing the cabinet meeting. The PPP-led government has been persistently criticised for the swollen cabinet, which by and large is blamed on the government bestowing its friends, a charge the government denies. The prime minister said the cabinet was being reshaped in accordance with the wishes of the people, the civil society, the media and the opposition. He said the step was meant to minimise administrative expenditure in the financial crunch the country is facing. The cabinet was informed that it has met 75 times since 2008 and took 782 decisions, out of which 605 (77 per cent) were implemented, while 175 decisions were in process. The prime minister also used the opportunity to score points. In stark contrast to his earlier remarks of the country facing financial crunch and the ground reality the masses are facing, the PM said foreign exchange reserves are at an all-time high over $17 billion. Investors confidence is reflected in the stock exchange index that has crossed 12,000 points, up from 5,000 points three years ago, he added. He also invoked the loss incurred by floods, saying the country was struck by unprecedented floods in the region. The government is thankful to friends across the world who helped Pakistan in the trying times, he added. Continuing, he said the government had passed the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, initiated Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, gave political rights to the people of Gilgit Baltistan and successfully fought the war against terrorism with the help of valiant security forces and the brave people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Last but not least was making the Council of Common Interests (CCI) an effective body, he said. The cabinet endorsed historic bills, including of the 18th and the 19th amendment. The PM expressed the resolve to continue with the policy of reconciliation in order to fully implement the constitutional amendments. He said all this was possible with the devotion and dedication of the cabinet. He said when the cabinet took over, the country was facing the worst circumstances. There was economic meltdown and plaguing terrorism, and doubts were being cast on the sustainability of Pakistan as a nation. He said that the cabinet and the leadership of the country successfully steered the nation to sustainable economic recovery by initiating both short- and long-term policies such as rationalisation of subsidies. The steps taken by the cabinet increased exports, which are projected to surpass the target this year. There has been a record inflow of remittances as well, the PM added. Agencies add: Still reeling from unprecedented flooding last year that caused damages of $9.7 billion, the government is under huge pressure to introduce economic reforms and meet IMF targets agreed in a 2008 bailout package. The size of the new cabinet will be smaller than this one, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told state-run television. It was a demand from the opposition to cut the cabinet size and the Peoples Party government listened the voice of the masses and opposition. The cabinet would be formerly dissolved after President Asif Ali Zardari accepts the resignations. A reduction in the size of the cabinet is a legal requirement of the 18th Amendment to the constitution, which stipulates it should be no larger than 11 percent of parliament, which would be a maximum of 49 members. The government is under huge pressure from the opposition to implement a raft of reforms, in order to head off any possible threat of a call for early elections from opposition leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The government, analysts say, must cut their lavish spending and curtail non-development expenditure by at least 30 percent because the economy is heading towards collapse, saying the resignations are unlikely to satisfy the IMF and international donors.