LONDON (APP) - Pakistan's new coalition government has ordered a "massive cut" in budget expenditure across the board, including military spending, to cope with the rising cost of fuel and food subsidies, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, told the influential Financial Times. In his interview with the daily, he said the country is also seeking to raise $3bn or more from international lenders and foreign investors to bolster its foreign exchange reserves, because of a sharp deterioration on the current account of its balance of -payments. Dar accused the outgoing government, of "inaction, mismanagement and underestimation" of the scale of the crisis caused by soaring oil and food prices, and the inflationary effect of a rapid rise in borrowing from the central bank. The Minister said the government was pursuing a twin strategy of passing on the increased cost of oil imports to consumers, and cutting back public expenditure by some Rs300bn ($4.5bn) "across the board" in its first three months in office. Speaking on a day when the rupee dropped in value against the dollar to Rs67.15 in Karachi - close to its lowest-ever level of Rs68 - Dar said Pakistan's current account deficit had ballooned to about $11.5bn, against a target of $7.9bn, after a $3.5bn rise in the cost of oil imports. He said that foreign exchange reserves stood at $10.5bn, but "we have got a road map to have an extra $3bn inflows. They are in the pipeline, but not yet coming through". The new money included $500m in budget support promised by China. Dar said he had also held talks on further loans in Washington, at the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and at this week's meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Madrid. The target was to boost reserves to $13.5bn, or some four-and-a-half months' import cover. The increased cost of food imports was also a factor in the balance of payments squeeze, although "not as massive as some have experienced", he said. But food price inflation in the country was now running at 16 per cent, and the government was drawing up a programme of "targeted subsidies" to alleviate the effect on the poorest -consumers. He said his government had ruled out imposing curbs on food exports, although it had set a floor price for sales. In the medium term, it was intent on redirecting investment to agriculture, to boost domestic production and curb net imports. The budget cuts had been ordered from the government's first day in office last month, he said, and included military spending, development expenditure and non-development spending. "We are tightening our belt. Everybody is sharing happily the burden. It is the only way to survive," Dar told the newspaper.