India is one of the few countries that legally cultivate opium poppy and is the only country on earth that licitly produces opium gum. The Central Bureau of Narcotics, Gwalior, (i) licenses farmers to cultivate opium poppy; (ii) supervises and controls the cultivation; and (iii) procures the opium produced by the licenced cultivators.
Smt. Jagjit Pavadia, Narcotics Commissioner, is the head of Central Bureau of Narcotics. A Deputy Narcotics Commissioner is in-charge of each of the three opium growing States of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The Deputy Narcotics Commissioner is assisted by the Assistant Narcotics Commissioner and District Opium Officers. The District Opium Officer issues licences for cultivation of opium poppy as per the General Licencing Conditions notified by the Central Government. The Government of India notifies the General Licencing Conditions for every crop year (1st October to 30th September) (these notifications are often referred to as opium policies).
Each farm is individually measured by officers of CBN to ensure that the farmer is not cultivating in excess of his licence. Senior officers conduct test checks of the measurements. The farmer is required to tender his entire produce of opium to the CBN who collect it and pay the farmers a price at the rates determined by the Government.
The opium collected by the CBN is transferred to the Govt. Opium Factories at Ghazipur and Neemuch. Part of the opium is dried and exported while some part of the opium is used to extract alkaloids in the Government Opium and Alkaloid Works. The alkaloids so extracted are used in manufacture of pharmaceuticals.
The Chief Controller supervises the Government Opium & Alkaloid Factories (GOAF) which process raw opium procured from the farmers. There are two Government Opium and Alkaloid Works one each at Neemuch (M.P.) and Ghazipur (U.P.). Each of these has an opium factory which dries opium and an alkaloid plant that extracts alkaloids from opium.
Raw opium is a dark viscous substance and contains 62 to 67% solids and 33 to 38% moisture. Farmers are paid reckoning the weight of their produce at 70° consistence, i.e., with 70% solids and 30% moisture. This opium is dried in the Opium Factories to 90° consistence (90% solids plus 10% moisture) for export.
The Alkaloid Plants extract morphine, codeine, thebaine and other alkaloids from opium and sell them to the pharmaceutical industry.
The Chief Controller of Factories also imports alkaloids such as codeine to meet the gap between our production and demand.
The Chief Controller of Factories works under the overall guidance of a Committee of Management constituted and notified by the Govt. of India in 1970. The Additional Secretary (Revenue) of the Department of Revenue of Ministry of Finance is the Chairman of the Committee. An officer of the level of commissioner/Joint Secretary is the Head of the Organisation and designated as Chief Controller of Factories. The present incumbent is Shri Ajesh Kumar. The two factories at Neemuch and Ghazipur are managed by General Managers, who are of the rank of Director in the Government of India.