With the Captain Amarinder Singh government launching a drive against drug menace, the UK on Tuesday offered technical assistance to the state in enforcement of drug-control measures.
The issues came up for discussion at a meeting between Amarinder and British deputy high commissioner to India Andrew Ayre, who invited the CM to visit the UK to meet industrialists for attracting investments.
The British envoy also offered assistance to Punjab in the training and modernisation of the police force, as well as in handling cyber crime, with the two sides agreeing to explore mutual cooperation across a wide range of subjects, including law and order, industrial development, agriculture, dairy farming, animal sex embryo transfer etc.
Amarinder also suggested working together in the fields of urban management, civil services, transportation in big cities, among other areas, according to an official spokesperson.
The British envoy said his government was looking to raise Punjab to the highest category in terms of business cooperation. Noting that his government was in the process of eliminating redtapism and promoting ease of doing business in the state, the Chief Minister directed officials of his government to arrange a meeting with British officials to identify areas of mutual cooperation.
Pointing out that the previous Akali regime had turned a blind eye to the drugs problem, Amarinder said his government had made significant advances in arresting the flow of drugs and the STF was on the verge of cracking down on some big fish.
It was decided at the meeting that the chief of the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs would meet British enforcement experts to discuss cooperation in fighting the drugs menace in Punjab, in view of the smuggling of drugs into and out of India to other countries.
Pointing out that 9 million youth in the state were unemployed, the Chief Minister said his government was looking for ways and means to rescue the state from the abyss into which it had been plunged in the past 10 years. He also sought UK’s support in promotion of modern agricultural practices, dairy farming and sex embryo transfer to check the uncontrolled birth of male calves which are seen to destroy crops in farms.