New Delhi: The government has sought Parliament’s approval for a net additional expenditure of more than Rs35,000 crore, as it seeks to increase spending in the rural sector.

In the second supplementary demand for grants tabled by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, the government has sought to spend an additional Rs59,978 crore in 2016-17.

A part of this higher expenditure will be met through savings and improved recoveries by department, thereby resulting in a net additional spending of Rs35,171.92 crore.

Extra spending will mainly be to support the government’s rural jobs scheme and for building rural infrastructure.

The government has sought approval for an additional Rs4,000 crore allocation to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for 2016-17.

An additional Rs2,000 crore has been sought for the ministry of communications and information technology to compensate telecom service providers for providing services in rural and remote areas including operation and maintenance of village public telephone and the requirement of Bharat Net.

Additional expenditure to the tune of Rs2,500 crore is also envisaged for the ministry of drinking water and sanitation for supporting the government’s ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the rural drinking water programme.

More than Rs2,000 crore has been set aside for the ministry of urban development for its smart cities programme.

Other major additional spendings include Rs861 crore to the ministry of civil aviation for additional equity investments into national carrier Air India, Rs2,000 crore to the price stabilization fund for procurement and import of pulses and Rs1,000 crore for Coast Guard’s acquisition of ships and land.

The additional expenditure will not put pressure on the government’s finances, said economists.

D.K. Joshi, chief economist at rating agency Crisil, said the government will manage to meet its fiscal deficit targets for this fiscal. “The economy is not in great shape and the government is looking to step up spending. With tax collections expected to improve this year because of the additional schemes announced, the pressure on the fisc will be limited," he said.

The government aims to contain its fiscal deficit to 3.5% in 2016-17. While the government expects to exceed its indirect tax collection targets, it hopes to limit the shortfall in direct taxes on account of tax collections from the two income disclosure schemes announced this year for tax evaders to come clean. While the first scheme closed on 30 September yielding the government around Rs30,000 crore in taxes, another—the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana is still awaiting the Parliament’s nod.

To be sure, the government will get only around 50% of the Rs30,000 crore in taxes this year as the taxpayers have an option of paying the remaining 50% of the tax dues by September 2017.

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