The “war on Drugs” has failed miserably to stem the flow of illegal drugs from China to India.
According to new data, India’s illegal drugs trade is now worth over Rs 2.38 lakh crore, or around US$4.5 billion.
“The current trend is to increase the flow from China into India.
That is a trend which has been there for a long time and it is a major contributor to the current drug trade,” said Amit Shah, CEO, National Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
According to NIPH, India has the second largest illegal drug market in the world, behind China, which has over Rs 5,500 billion, or US$5.3 billion.
In 2016, China had the largest illegal drugs market, followed by Mexico with around Rs 2,400 billion.NIPh’s data showed that the average price per kilogram of illegal drug is now Rs 4,400, according to Niph.
“Drug prices in India have become extremely competitive and the market is not sustainable,” Shah said.
India has been facing a huge surge in drug trafficking across the border, where it has a large number of border towns, which are often known as drug hot spots.
Shah said India has a long history of producing illegal drugs.
“But the problem has been compounded by the rise of illegal narcotics across the frontier and now we have a major market which is also going to be a major source of drugs to China,” he said.
Shaikh said the government has launched a campaign called “Pray for Peace” which has attracted tens of thousands of people, but so far, there is no sign of any concrete results.
“This is a big step, but the government needs to look at the long term and not just on the short term,” he added.