NEW DELHI: India allocated Rs 2.74 lakh crore towards defence expenditure for the next financial year. The figure, however, excludes money spent in pension payments.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley pegged the total expenditure of budget 2017-18 at Rs 21.47 lakh crore.

India is a “bright spot” in the world economy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said as he unveiled his annual budget on Wednesday, adding that the impact on growth from the government´s cash crackdown would wear off soon.

Delivering his fourth budget address to parliament, Jaitley vowed to spend more on rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation in what he called a budget for the poor.

Arun Jaitley defended the notes ban in the early part of his Budget speech on Wednesday, saying its impact is not expected to spill to the next financial year.

“Demonetisation is a bold measure against decades of tax evasion,” Mr Jaitley said, asserting that it would have an “epoch-making” impact on the lives of people.

The notes ban was suddenly announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8. Notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 were devalued, which took away 86 per cent of the cash in circulation and left millions queuing up at banks and ATMs for cash.

“Demonetisation seeks to create a GDP which is bigger, cleaner and real,” the finance minister said.