Friday, August 28, 2009

How Big is YOUR Cabinet?

Someone just sent me a link to the CIA's publications website, listing the cabinet members of various governments. And what it contains on Pakistan is the list of ministers at the federal level. Here is the link to the Pakistan portion of the website.

As you can see, it's a long, long list. It got me thinking, yet again, about the absurdity of this "poor" country. And yes, I do mean country, not government. It's been pretty much the same situation under previous governments, including the PML(Q) one overseen by President Musharraf. But as far as this particular list is concerned, it is important to note the following facts:

1) These are only the FULL ministers, no ministers of state listed here. Apparently, that's another 30 or so bright young things.

2) By my count, there are now 47 ministries (!!!) at the federal level alone, not including the office of the Prime Minister.

3) In addition to these 47 ministries, we have a Prime Minister (obviously), a "Senior Minister" (less obviously) and a number of others with the rank and perks of a full minister, including, among others, the Governor of the State Bank, the Attorney General, the National Security Adviser, the Ambassador to the US, the Ambassador to the UN etc. etc. etc.

4) There are only 2 women full ministers in 47 ministries.

5) The following apparently irrelevant ministries have no one to head them (which simply means there's still scope for a cabinet increase):

- Culture
- Information Technology and Telecommunications
- Inter-Provincial Coordination
- Law and Justice
- Narcotics Control
- Women's Development

So I did a bit of research, just for comparison's sake. And this is what I came up with, just to put things in perspective. Not counting the President / Vice President (considered a part of the cabinet in the US) and the Prime Minister for any of the following countries, have a look at the statistics (sorry, can't seem to get the formatting right for a table):


USA /US$13.84 TRILLION/ 304 million
15 ministries (by law)

Japan /US$ 4.5 TRILLION/ 127 million
No more than 16 ministers (by law)

China /US$ 3.9 TRILLION/ 1,330 million
Approx. 50 members of the 'State Council'

India /US$ 2.97 TRILLION/ 1,148 million
52 ministries (but only 32 full ministers)

UK /US$ 2.3 TRILLION/ 61 million
22 full ministers

Pakistan/ US$ 167 BILLION/ 173 million
47 ministries (at least 47 full ministers)

Any thoughts?

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