Cabinet allows private sector to produce poppy concentrate

January 12th, 2012 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) The union cabinet Thursday approved the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Policy under which a company or corporate body would be able to produce concentrate of poppy straw (CPS) in India.

Officials said 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.

To check illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis, the policy emphasises use of satellite imageries for detection and subsequent eradication of such crops, and development of alternate means of livelihood for cultivators in pockets of traditional illicit cultivation.

The government hopes the consumption of poppy straw by addicts will be gradually reduced and finally stopped in a timeframe decided by states in accordance with the policy.

As per the policy, 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).

Besides, non-intrusive methods of regulating the manufacture, trade and use of such psychotropic substances will be introduced, said officials.

The policy envisages time-bound plan of action, detailing the steps to be taken by different ministries, departments and agencies in response to the recommendations of the International Narcotics Control Board.

The policy also attempts to curb the menace of drug abuse, and contains provisions for treatment, rehabilitation and social re-integration of victims of drug abuse.

The national policy will serve as a guide to various ministries and organisations and re-assert India’s commitment to combating the drug menace in a holistic manner, said officials.

The policy was drafted by the department of revenue in the finance ministry in consultation with the ministries concerned and the state governments.

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