Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited, the company that supplied indelible ink to the Election Commission for past 54 years, has a new task at hand.
The company was asked to stock up its storage after the govt decided to use indelible ink to mark bank customers to prevent multiple cash withdrawals.
“We have been intimated to keep the stock (of ink bottles) ready,” Mysore Paints manager (general and corporate affairs) C Harakumar told PTI over phone.
However, he said, the govt has not given the exact requirement.
A small mark of indelible ink will be applied on the right hand index finger of those exchanging currency notes from Wednesday, the govt decided on Tuesday.
“Ideally, the ink mark should have been put on the left hand as is done when a person casts his vote. But with by-elections due in some states, an ink mark for exchange or withdrawal of currency note on the left hand will lead to unnecessary difficulties. So it has been decided that the ink mark would be put on right hand,” an official said.
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Tuesday it was noticed that the same people were coming back again and again to exchange notes, causing the long queues and creating hassles for genuine people to get their cash.
Also, an expert committee comprising of officers from the department of economic affairs and the department of financial services are preparing standard operating procedure (SoPs) for ink marking as well as additional steps to be taken to manage the crowds.
A Karnataka government undertaking, Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited provides the famous indelible ink to all states in India and even some foreign countries.
In 1962, the Election Commission, in collaboration with Law Ministry, National Physical Laboratory and National Research Development Corporation, made an agreement with Mysore Paints for supply of indelible ink for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
A bottle of indelible ink contains 10 cubic centimetres (cc). As per modern measurement methods, one cubic centimetre is equivalent to one millilitre.
Banks in major cities will start marking note exchangers with the ink, an official said.
Many political leaders had initially criticised the government’s move by saying the process will affect the bypolls scheduled on November 19.