Talking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting here, Jaitley said a total of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units would be needed for Elecronic Voting Machines (EVMs) as per Election Commission estimates.

This would cost around Rs 3,173.47 crore, he said.

"If we place the order in April, the whole supply would come by September 2018... Hence VVPAT machines would be available on all polling booths in the subsequent elections," Jaitley said.

He added the expenses on the procurement of these machines would be spread over two financial years.

"The Election Commission had been consistently demanding VVPAT machines to hold elections and now the Cabinet has approved the demand today (Wednesday)."

Jaitley said the move would bring more transparency in the voting process.

"Voters have a right to know if their votes are correctly registered or not," he said.

The Union Cabinet's decision on VVPAT machines is important in view of allegations by several parties, including the Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that EVMs can be tampered with.