The Union Cabinet on 23 August 2017 gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Nepal on resolving the issue of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
According to an official statement, the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved a pact between the two neighbouring countries on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.
• The agreement lists out the areas of cooperation on drug matters between the two countries.
• It also indicates the mechanism of information exchange and the competent authorities who would be responsible for the pact’s implementation and exchange of any information.
• The move is expected to reduce the illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals.
Following are the two main provisions of the MoU:
- It provides that both countries should develop mutual cooperation with a view to effectively resolve the issue of illicit drug trafficking and cooperate in drug demand reduction through prevention, awareness, education and community-based programmes, treatment and rehabilitation.
- It also requires both the countries to exchange information of operational, technical and general nature in drug matters, exchange literature on their existing laws, rules, procedures, best practices and methods of curbing the illicit trafficking and any further amendments to the existing legislation.
• India has always been in support of global efforts to counter illegal trafficking of drugs and thus, has been a part of several multilateral and bilateral initiatives in this regard including United Nations (UN) led initiatives.
• In accordance with the spirit of UN Conventions on Narcotic Drugs, effort is made to enter into Bilateral Agreements/MoUs with neighbouring countries and the countries that have a direct bearing on the drug situation prevailing in a particular country.
• Several countries have entered into such bilateral agreements and the proposed MoU with Nepal is another such MoU that shall be entered for the purpose of bilateral cooperation on drug matters.
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