Pakistan FM announces 10 percent increase in defense budget

Pakistan FM announces 10 percent increase in defense budget
Pakistani parliamentarians leave the National Assembly after a budget session for 2018-19, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, April 27, 2018. Pakistan's finance minister has announced about 10 per cent increase in the country's defense spending in the annual budget ahead of this year's parliamentary elections. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s finance minister announced a 10 percent increase in defense spending as part of a new federal budget as opposition politicians criticized his appointment to the post just hours earlier.

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail presented the 2018-2019 budget in the National Assembly on Friday. In his televised speech, Ismail said the budget also promises more funds for health, education and social programs.

Opposition politicians in parliament were outraged that Ismail was sworn in as a Cabinet minister hours before presenting the budget.

Ismail is not a member of parliament, but the government says the country’s constitution allows it to elevate him to the position of minister.

Pakistan’s economy has been hard hit by a drop in foreign investment due to militant violence and high poverty rates.