The United Kingdom on Tuesday offered technical assistance to Punjab in enforcement of the drug control measures launched by the state. A government release after a meeting between Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner Andrew Ayre and Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here stated that Britain has also shown keen interest “to scale up business engagement with the north Indian state”.
It was decided at the meeting that the chief of the Special Task Force (STF) on drugs, ADGP Harpreet Singh Sidhu would meet British enforcement experts to discuss cooperation in fighting the drug menace in Punjab, in view of the smuggling of drugs in and out of India to other countries, said the release.
Both sides also discussed law and order problems and the financial crisis facing Punjab, with the Chief Minister apprising the British deputy envoy of the work done by his government to tackle the same.
The statement said that Ayre invited the Chief Minister to visit UK to meet industrialists for attracting investments to the state.
It added that Britain also offered assistance to Punjab in the “training and modernisation of the police force, as well as in handling cyber crime, with the two sides agreeing to explore mutual cooperation across a wide range of subjects, including law and order, industrial development, agriculture, dairy farming, animal sex embryo transfer”.
Amarinder also suggested working together in the fields of urban management, civil services, transportation in big cities, among other areas, according to the government statement. He pointed out that previous Akali regime had turned a blind eye to the drug problem, but his government had made significant advances in arresting the flow of drugs and the STF was on the verge of cracking down on some big fish, according to the release.
Amarinder also raised the issue of unemployment in the state during the meeting.