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Government extends anti-narcotics scheme for 3 more years

Feb 15, 2018 10:36 IST
Government extends anti-narcotics scheme for 3 more years

The Union Government has extended the anti-narcotics scheme, 'Assistance to States and UTs for Narcotics Control' for a further period of three years, from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with an estimated budget of Rs 21 crore.

Objective of the Scheme

The main objective of the scheme is to assist states and Union Territories that are contributing in controlling the inter-state and cross-border drug trafficking.  

The scheme aims to combat illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substance.

Key Features

• Under the scheme, financial assistance will be provided to all the anti-narcotics agencies for strengthening their enforcement capabilities to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

• Financial assistance is also proposed to be provided for all capacity building activities, including training of personnel.

Action Plan

The main strategy under the scheme would include reduction of both supply and demand.

While supply reduction would include enforcement activities, the demand reduction would involve rehabilitation and de-addiction measures.

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Eligibility

The financial assistance will only be provided to those states/ UTs that have established basic institutional arrangements for the effective enforcement of anti-narcotics laws such as:

1. Setting up of a multi-disciplinary coordination committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary or Home Secretary for regular interaction with various central and state agencies including NCB for coordination and sharing of information and reviewing of the drug situation in the state.

2. Setting up of an anti-narcotics task force under IG/ DIG level officer with properly demarcated duties and responsibilities.

3. Preparation of annual action plans to address narcotics-related issues. The action plan should include Identification of regions that are sensitive to drug tracking and require focused attention and preparation of strategic action to be taken in these regions.

About the scheme

The scheme was first launched by the Union Home Ministry on October 24, 2004 for a period of 5 years up to March 31, 2009 with an estimated budget of Rs 10 crores.

It was then extended for 5 more years from 2009-10 to 2013-2014 at a cost of Rs 15 crores.

It was further extended for 3 years from 2014-15 to 2016-17 with an estimated budget of Rs 15 crores.

Monitoring Agency

The implementation of the scheme will be monitored by IS- II Division, Ministry of Home Affairs and DG, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The NCB, which is the national nodal agency for drug administration, would be responsible for processing the requests from state governments and UTs for financial assistance for improving their enforcement capabilities in dealing with drug trafficking.

Background

• According to latest assessments, there are approximately 40 lakh drug addicts in the country.

• The most common drugs of abuse include ganja, hashish, opium and heroin.

• The abuse of pharmaceutical preparations like 'buprenorphine', codeine-based cough syrups and painkillers like 'proxivon' have also assumed serious proportions.

• In certain regions of the country, drug abuse has already become a severe social-economic problem that is affecting the vulnerable age groups.

• Hence, it is essential that the state governments and UTs are aware of the drug-related problems in their states and UTs and address them in an effective manner before they assume epidemic proportions.

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