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National policy on narcotic drugs soon

S. Vijay Kumar

“Ketamine may be brought under the list of controlled or narcotic substances”


Policy to make drugs available for medicinal/scientific purposes and prevent abuse

Policy expected to spell out the stand of India on drugs


CHENNAI: In a bid to have uniformity of approach and well-coordinated action by Central and State agencies, the Ministry of Home Affairs will soon come out with a national policy on Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS).

According to sources in the Narcotics Control Bureau, the policy was aimed at making drugs available for medicinal/scientific purposes and preventing their abuse.

At a two-day meeting on the draft national policy on NDPS in New Delhi last week, top officials representing various law enforcing agencies deliberated on the latest drug trend/trafficking scenario in the country and amendments that may be required to make enforcement more stringent.

Besides focussing more on research and sophisticated investigation gadgets, the issue of ketamine being smuggled out of India as a party drug to South-East Asian countries was discussed in detail.

“Ketamine may be brought under the list of controlled or narcotic substances…it is often being used as a ‘date rape drug' in some countries. The draft policy has been evolved considering international conventions and resolutions on drug management. The objective is also to reassert India's commitment to combat the drug menace in a holistic manner,” NCB's South Zonal Director S. Davidson Devasirvatham told TheHindu on Monday.

Identification and destruction of illicit opium and cannabis crops and providing alternative development in such areas, control on export/import of drugs, drug-demand reduction activities and allocation of drugs for medical purposes by the International Narcotics Control Board based in Vienna were some of the issues discussed at the meeting.

“The policy is expected to spell out the stand of India on drugs. Since many departments/organisations in the Centre and State are involved in the process of enforcing the drug law, the policy will also serve as a guide to them,” Mr. Devasirvatham added.

The sources said it was decided in a meeting of the Economic Intelligence Council recently that the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) would take up project of Satellite Imagery for destruction of illicit poppy crop in ten States, including Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka.

The NCB, which is the national nodal agency for drug law enforcement, had formulated an action plan for the destruction of poppy cultivation, the sources added.

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