While banks have started applying inedible ink mark on right hand index finger of the customers exchanging high denomination old currency notes, it ought to be known that the ink is manufactured in Mysuru.
Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd (MPVL), a government of Karnataka undertaking which is sole supplier of indelible ink during elections across the country, is supplying the inedible ink to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which is being used at all the banks across the country. MPVL has received an order 2, 96,500 bottles of indelible ink each measuring 5ml.
The RBI and the finance ministry had directed all the banks to apply inedible ink mark on customers’ finger as to ensure one-time, across-the-counter exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes of up to Rs 4,500 — any amount above that limit will be credited in customers’ accounts.
The step was taken by the government after reports of unaccounted money hoarders using poor people to get their money exchanged, thus turning their black money to white. Now, once the ink is applied on the figure of the customer, the mark remain for nearly one month.
Ministry of Finance has given responsibility to Reserve Bank of India’s Bharatheeya Reserve Bank Note Mudranalaya Private Limited (BRBNMPL), Mysuru to distribute the ink to different banks and also to other RBI regional centres across the country. On Wednesday, MPVL has supplied 30,000 bottles each measuring 5ml to BRBNMPL. Over 100 workers are working in shifts to meet the demand.
HA Venkatesh, Chairman, MPVL, confirmed that it was for the first time MPVL receiving requests for indelible ink for non-election purposes. “We have got communication from ministry of finance for supply of ink, based on their demand of 2.96lakh bottles of ink we are going all out in our effort to provide the same. The ministry also instructed us to give ink only to RBI in Mysuru which will be distributing it to various banks and also to RBI regional centres. Every day with 100 staff members we can manufacture 25,000 bottles, within six to seven days of time we can supply the required demand,” he said.
He further added that each 5ml ink bottle was enough to ink the finger of 500 people. Each 5ml ink bottle cost Rs 116.
MPVL has also got indent of 5 lakh indelible ink bottles of 10ml for the forthcoming assembly elections in five states; Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur. But all the five states have placed order for indelible inks. Uttar Pradesh has placed order for 3.40 ink bottles followed by Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa who have placed 52,000, 46,000, 7500 and 4000 bottles respectively.