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Govt unveils policy to curb illicit narcotics

New Delhi: 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 be 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.

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