Govt To Allow Pvt Sector To Produce Alkaloids from Opium

New Delhi, Jan 12: The government today announced a national policy to control and regulate narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to stop the menace of trafficking, considered to be a major source of black money. 
govt to allow pvt sector to produce alkaloids...
PTI 12 Jan 2012, 04:55 PM IST

New Delhi, Jan 12: The government today announced a national policy to control and regulate narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to stop the menace of trafficking, considered to be a major source of black money. 

The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) was approved by the Union Cabinet which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

The private sector may also allowed for production of alkaloids from opium and products from poppy straw. Alkaloids are chemical substances used in pharmaceutical industry.

“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,” an official release
said after the Cabinet meeting.

It said implementation of the policy “will lead to reduction of crime, improvement in public health and uplifting of the social milieu”.

To check the illicit cultivation of poppy and cannabis, government will use satellite imageries for detection and eradication of such crops.

It emphasises on developing alternate means of livelihood for growers in traditional illicit cultivation areas.

The policy follows Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee's intention in his last Budget speech to strengthen control over trafficking of narcotic material.

“Trafficking in narcotic drugs is also a contributor to the generation of black money,” he had said. 

The Revenue Department will set a time bound action plan for different government agencies in sync with the recommendations with the International Narcotics Control Board.

As per the release, the NDPS 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,” it added. 

Another aim of the policy is to gradually reduce consumption of poppy straw by addicts and finally stopped in a time frame decided by the states.

The government also said under the policy “non-intrusive methods of regulating the manufacture, trade and use of such psychotropic substances will be introduced”. 

Besides, emphasis will be laid on adequate access to morphine and other opioid 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 centres.

“The NDPS Policy will serve as a guide to various Ministries and organisations and re-assert India's commitment to combat the drug menace in a holistic manner,” the government said.

Alkaloids from opium are produced only in Government Opium and Alkaloid Factories, but now private players too can enter this field.

 
   
 

More from business