New Delhi: The government has turned down a
request from Himachal Pradesh and others to allow cultivation
of opium on the ground that it was not feasible, the Lok Sabha
was informed today.
Requests for allowing cultivation of opium had been
received from Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand,
Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam said in a
The government did not consider the request to be
feasible in view of the fact that opium cultivation is carried
out under strict licensing conditions and supervision of the
Central Bureau of Narcotics, he said.
Besides, the requirement of opium for medicinal and
scientific purposes is completely met from the licensed
cultivation in notified tracts in three traditional opium
cultivation states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar
Pradesh, the minister added.
In reply to a question from a member of Parliament from
Shimla Virendra Kashyap, Palanimanickam categorically denied
any state being discriminated in this regard.
Opium is cultivated illegally in vast stretches of land
in the Kullu valley in HP.