Govt to revise scheme to help fight drug menace

  • Brajesh Kumar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 16, 2014 00:07 IST

In keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on dealing with the drug menace in the country, the ministry of social justice and empowerment has decided to revise its scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism & Substance (Drugs) Abuse.

Under the revised scheme, which will be effective from January 1, 2015, rehabilitation centres for addicts can increase their bed capacity from 15 to 50, and also will be given Rs 75 per inmate for providing them with three meals a day. The ministry will help the industry set up rehabilitation centres in their premises by funding 25% of their costs.

The government will also fund awareness and de-addiction camps providing them with a grant of Rs 63,000 per camp. It will also reach out to local bodies, schools and universities giving them financial assistance for creating awareness of the problem and meeting the objectives of the scheme.

In the PM’s third ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on radio, he said the drug menace is a “national pain” and that drugs should be shunned. The scheme was last revised in 2008 and in that exercise, the cost of its various components were not revised. “The Consumer Price Index has witnessed more than 100% increase and the cost of drugs, services including substitute therapy have gone up substantially.

Similarly, infrastructure and logistic costs have gone up...organisations are finding it difficult to get qualified staff at the existing rates,” a ministry note said.

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