In a signifcant move, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a periodic but mandatory dope test of all government employees, including police personnel, from the time of their recruitment through every stage of their service. Punjab is one of the states grappling with the issue of drug abuse. It was among the issues raised by the political parties in the run-up to 2017 assembly polls.
Issuing orders on Wednesday, the Punjab chief minister also communicated another of his Cabinet’s recommendation to the Centre, seeking amendment to the NDPS Act to provide for death penalty for first-time offenders too.
The chief secretary has been directed to work out the modalities and issue necessary notification in this regard, an official spokesperson said.
According to the order, drug screenings will be mandatorily done in all cases of recruitment and promotions, as well as the annual medical examination that certain employees are required to undergo in accordance with the nature of their duties.
Dope test would be made mandatory for all recruitments as well as promotions to be made by various Punjab government departments, according to the spokesperson.
Further, dope test would also be made a mandatory part of the Annual Medical examination of all civilian/police employees of the Punjab government, wherever prescribed, he added.
The move is part of a series of initiatives taken by the chief minister over the past three days to eliminate the drug menace from Punjab. Singh has already issued a strict warning to drug smugglers and peddlers to give up their nefarious activities or face stringent action.
(With inputs from PTI)