Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited is a company located in the city of Mysore, India. It is the only company in India authorized to produce the indelible ink, which is used in the elections to prevent people from voting multiple times. The company is owned and operated by the Government of Karnataka.
The company was started as the Mysore Lac and Paints Limited by the Maharaja of Mysore, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar in the year 1937 for manufacturing paints and other related products. It became a public sector company when India gained independence in 1947. In 1962, it was selected to manufacture indelible ink, which was first used in the third general election in India.
This prevents the voter from exercising the franchise again and hence checks fraud. One of the major customers for this ink is the Election Commission of India which places orders based on the number of voters involved in the election. The ink is then supplied to the Chief Electoral Officers who further distribute it to individual voting centres. The ink is also exported to countries like Thailand, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia and South Africa.
The company also manufactures other products such as chemical-resistant paints, enamels, primers, sealing wax, postage stamp cancellation, and polishes. The sealing wax manufactured by the MVPL is used by India Post, and the Election Commission to seal Ballot boxes was the first product to be manufactured by them.
The company’s business is highly dependent on the Indian general election (held once in five years) and in a year when the elections are held, significant increase in the revenue is observed.
The process involved in manufacturing the ink is a closely guarded secret and is based on a chemical formula devised by the National Physical Laboratory of India.