Home Ministry preparing new laws to curb drug trafficking

Kathmandu, January 25:

The Narcotics Control Section (NCS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs is making new laws and amending the existing Acts to curb drug dealing and trafficking.

The NCS is preparing drafts of the Precursors Substance Act (PSA) and Witness Protection Act (WPA). “The need of the PSA was felt long ago to curb misuse of drugs. We hope the WPA will help us initiate legal action against drug dealers and traffickers,” Chandeshowar Acha-rya, undersecretary at the NCS, said today.

Precursors are chemicals that can be used to produce heroin and cocaine. The parliament had ratified the Convention on Psychotropic Substance 1971 on November 2, 2006. “As a signatory, Nepal was bound to amend legal provisions in line with internationally set criteria,” he said.

The NCS has also endorsed a ‘National Policy on Narcotic Drug Control 2063’. The policy highlights the need to adopt a coordinated approach with civil society, citizens, social organisations, partners and other stakeholders to control the dealing in narcotic drugs. “Misuse of drug in all forms is a crime,” Acharya said, adding, “Misuse of drugs is a socio-economic problem, too. “

There has been a shift in state dealing with drug dependents. The new policy has adopted treatment, rehabilitation and risk reduction for them. “Our effort will also aim to reintegrate drug dependents into the society,” he said. Nepal is a signatory to three international conventions on drug trafficking — Convention Against Illicit Traffic of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substance 1988, Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 and Convention on Psychotropic Substance 1971.