India-US Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG)

India and the United States (US) have agreed to strengthen their collaboration in counternarcotics regulation and law enforcement. Both the countries have identified areas for joint action and coordination on the counternarcotics issue.

Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG)

  • The inaugural meeting of the Counternarcotics Working Group (CNWG) was held on November 24, 2020 in virtual format.
  • Both the countries agreed to enhance their data sharing operations so as to combat the production, diversion, distribution, and export or import of drugs & other precursor chemicals used to manufacture the drugs.
  • Sachin Jain, Deputy Director General of Narcotics Control Board,  led the Indian delegation.
  • Kemp Chester, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Assistant Director, led the US delegation.
  • The delegations agreed upon increasing collaboration on counternarcotics regulation and law enforcement.
  • Both the sides discussed their views on the broad array of narcotics-related challenges facing the US and India.
  • They committed to strengthen their cooperation to combat the illegal production, manufacturing, trafficking and distribution of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs.
  • They further discussed to strengthen India’s regional leadership role to build capacity for
  1.  Counternarcotics initiatives in South Asia
  2. Countering regional cross-border drug trafficking and crime by enhancing the sharing of operational intelligence and
  3. Expanding the ;aw enforcement cooperation on counternarcotics issues.
  • The countries further agreed to cooperate and assist each other in drug treatment and awareness against drug abuse areas.

U.S. counternarcotics efforts

USA have also made counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan in the year 2002–2017. U.S. government spent roughly $8.62 billion on counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan during the respective years. Despite this investment, Afghanistan is still the world’s largest opium producer. Opium poppy is the its largest cash crop.

Drug policy in India

The major drug laws include Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985 and the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1988. As per the NDPS Act, it is illegal for a person to produce or manufacture or cultivate, possess, sell, purchase, store, transport, or consume any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance. Under this act, the Narcotics Control Bureau was also set up. The later act was passed to fully implement the NDPS Act.

 Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)

NCB is the chief law enforcement and intelligence agency. It is responsible to fight the drug trafficking and the abuse of illegal substances. The agency was created on  March 17, 1986. The agency is involved in the full implementation of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.