Local levels delegated authority for policy and plans

Kathmandu / May 21: The government has prepared a guideline giving the responsibility of preparing the policy and plans on narcotic drug control to the local level. The Narcotic Drug Control Guidelines prepared by the government provides this responsibility to the local level as per its policy of delegating the center’s authority to the local governments in line with the federal-state system.

The Guidelines to the Local Level on Implementation of Programmes Related to Narcotic Drugs Prevention and Control, 2076 has been prepared allowing the local levels to run programs for the prevention and control of activities like drug smuggling, trafficking, sale and distribution, and storage and use which are punishable offenses as per the Narcotic Drug Control Act 2033.

The guidelines were prepared by a Home Ministry decision on May 12 and it provides for every local level to conduct policy, plans and programs by making arrangements for the budget required for this purpose.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent circulars to all local levels for implementing the Guidelines. The government has been implementing several programs through the Ministry of Home Affairs for preventing drug abuse and trafficking. However, the expected results have not been achieved in this regard. In this backdrop, the local levels themselves are being made responsible as per the federal structure.

Chief of the Ministry’s Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation Division, Narayan Prasad Sharma said that some programs which the Ministry had been running have been changed which would now be implemented through the state government, local level, partner bodies and organizations concerned, as per the provision of the Guidelines. He said this provision has been made as per the suggestions of experts. The Division oversees the narcotic drug control activities. As per data from 2069 BS, the use of narcotic drugs in Nepal has increased by 11.36 percent annually. The Home Ministry is preparing to conduct a survey to find out the current situation on the use of narcotic drugs.

Narcotic Drugs Control Local Level Committee to be formed The Guidelines states that a Narcotic Drugs Control Committee would be formed at every local level for controlling drug abuse and trafficking. The committee would be headed by the municipality mayor and the rural municipality chief. The committee would have two members including one woman to be nominated from among the deputy chief of the local level, the health coordinator, the chief of the education section and the school head teachers.

Similarly, a representative of the organizations working in drug abuse control, police, manager of the rehabilitation center and women’s group in the local level would be the member of the committee. The chief administrative officer of the local level would be the member-secretary of the committee.

This committee has the responsibility of conducting public awareness programs in every village and settlement, making arrangements for the rehabilitation of the drug users by taking them to the rehabilitation centers, operating a rehab center at a place where there are a large number of drug users and carrying out monitoring and inspection of the rehabilitation centers. It is also stated in the Guidelines that the committee shall make proper arrangement for the rehabilitation of street children in coordination with the government body concerned and also monitor the drug stores as well if necessary. RSS

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