Neemuch: Decision to privatise opium processing work flayed

Reportedly, private company Bajaj Health Care has been given permission for both these works.

FP News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, July 17, 2022, 10:20 PM IST
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An opium field in Neemuch district | File Photo

Neemuch (Madhya Pradesh): Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) and All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) expressed their resentment over the Government of Indiaís decision to give the work of processing opium and extracting alkaloids directly from poppy bales to a private company. Reportedly, private company Bajaj Health Care has been given permission for both these works.

Both CITU and AIKS have lodged a protest and alleged that the danger of closure of the government opium factory has increased. They also claimed that there is a conspiracy to end the 150-year-old government sector monopoly.

State working president of CITU, Shailendra Singh Thakur said that the government has invited private sectors for making alkaloids from opium and CPS method between January and March. Several companies expressed their interest and Bajaj Health Care was finally given permission to extract alkaloids from opium and alkaloid directly from opium bales.

Thakur said that this step of the government creates apprehension of doing away with government opium and alkali factory. The opium sector has been dominated by the government for 150 years and because opium is a highly sensitive substance it could not be passed into private hands.

In the past too, private sector pharmaceutical companies have been involved in smuggling NDPS drugs. But the present government has tried to hand over the opium sector to private hands with the intention of handing over almost all the public sector sectors to private hands.

There is no recruitment of any kind in these factories for the last many years. There was no increase in the capacity of the factory either. Now it is being argued that the government sector factories are not able to supply the demand, this is a conspiracy to destroy the government factories.

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