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Malaysian govt asks parliament to approve extra spending of $696 mln in 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Reuters) - The Malaysian government on Tuesday sought parliamentary approval to increase its expenditure under the 2016 budget, saying it had spent some 3.08 billion ringgit ($695.73 million) more than planned.

The government tabled a supplementary bill in parliament on Tuesday, saying 2.25 billion ringgit of the additional spending was a contribution to statutory funds.

The ministries of education, foreign affairs, health, transport and women, family and community development also spent more than initially planned.

The election commission spent an additional 62.8 million ringgit last year, according to the spending bill.

In a modified 2016 budget announced last January, Malaysia said it would cut spending by 9 billion ringgit because of lower oil prices.

It estimated spending of 260.8 billion ringgit in its 2017 budget, an increase of 3.4 pct from the modified 2016 budget.

($1 = 4.4270 ringgit) (Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Eric Meijer)