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India’s only indelible ink supplier gears up for polls


PUNE: It’s super busy time at

Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd

(MPVL), the sole supplier of a product without which holding

elections in India

would be extremely difficult —

indelible ink

. Having got its biggest order till date for the upcoming

Lok Sabha polls

, MPVL said at least 70% of the production was complete and the rest will be done by March 15.


The country will need 26.55 lakh

vials of the marker

, at a cost of Rs 55 crore, for the elections. One vial of 10mg can be used for 700 voters.

Besides the domestic demand, the company has a pipeline of export orders to fulfil as many of the 60 nations going to polls this year need the ink for their

voting processes

With the number of voters rising with every election, the demand for indelible ink has been going up. “The order we received from the EC for the 2024 general elections is the largest order so far. We have delivered most vials to the northeast and Jammu & Kashmir. We are now producing the ink for Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana,” said MPVL managing director K Mohammed Irfan.

The company has received several requests for the marker vials from other nations and expects more orders to come in over the next few months.
“In the last couple of months, we have fulfilled small export orders from Cambodia, Fiji Islands, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau. We are now going to process orders and repeat requirements for Mongolia, Fiji Islands, Malaysia and Cambodia,” said Irfan.
Each vial costs Rs 174, an upward revision from Rs 160 in the last election. That’s because of the fluctuating price of silver nitrate, a key ingredient.
The company is also exploring the option of creating marker pens to replace the glass vials containing the ink. The product is still in development stage.

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