The Union Cabinet today approved the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) drafted by the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue in consultation with the concerned Ministries/Agencies of Government of India and the State Governments.
The salient features of the policy are as follows:
(i) The policy recommends production of Concentrate of Poppy Straw (CPS) in India by a company or body corporate. This would enable India to retain its status of a traditional supplier of Opiate Raw Material (ORM) to the rest of world, while remaining competitive.
(ii) The consumption of poppy straw by addicts will be gradually reduced and finally stopped in a time frame decided by the States.
(iii) On the illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis, the policy emphasizes use of satellite imageries for detection of illicit crop and its subsequent eradication and development of alternate means of livelihood in respect of cultivators in pockets of traditional illicit cultivation.
(iv) The private sector may be allowed production of alkaloids from opium. At present alkaloids from opium are produced only in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factories (GOAFs).
(v) Non-intrusive methods of regulating the manufacture, trade and use of such psychotropic substances will be introduced,
(vi) Emphasis will be laid on adequate access to morphine and other opioids necessary for palliative care, a strategy to address street peddlers of drugs, periodic surveys of drug abuse to gauge the extent, pattern and nature of drug abuse in the country, recognition of de-addiction centers,
(vii) There will be a time bound plan of action, detailing the steps to be taken by different Ministries/ Departments/ agencies, in response to the recommendations of the International Narcotics Control Board.
The policy attempts to curb the menace of drug abuse and contains provisions for treatment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of victims of drug abuse. Implementation of the provisions of the policy will lead to reduction of crime, improvement in public health and uplifting of the social milieu.
The NDPS Policy will serve as a guide to various Ministries and organizations and re-assert India`s commitment to combat the drug menace in a holistic manner.
Background: There are four broad aspects of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances –
(i) Administration of the NDPS Act and Rules framed there under,
(ii) Legal production, manufacturing, trade and use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific uses,
(iii) Drug (Illicit) supply reduction, and
(iv) Drug (Illicit) demand reduction.