NCB comes under Home Ministry from tomorrow

CHENNAI MARCH 30. Seventeen years after its formation, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is to be transferred to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) from the Finance Ministry from April 1. A committee is being formed for effecting the smooth transfer of the staff.

Official sources told The Hindu that as the transfer would take some time, the Finance Ministry would extend secretarial facilities to the Bureau till the shifting ends.

Besides a Director in the Ministry of Finance, the committee will consist of a Director from the Home Ministry, two other officials and an NCB officer to chalk out the modalities of the transfer.

The shifting of the NCB to the Home Ministry would go a long way in tackling the illicit drug menace effectively, the sources feel.

The case for bringing the agency into the Home Department is buttressed by the fact that the paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies have come into its fold and the presence of the bureau would enable the Government to have a coordinated approach. There have been instances of seizure of narcotics along with arms and explosives in the north-west frontier area.

Started in March 1986, the NCB, headquartered in Delhi, has zonal units in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Varanasi, Jodhpur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Jammu and regional units at Thiruvananthapuram and Imphal.

Besides enforcing the NDPS Act, the bureau serves as the nodal agency, collecting intelligence relating to drug trafficking and smugglers and coordinating in exchange of information with other enforcement agencies, including foreign liaison officers.

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