CHANDIGARH: The Punjab cabinet on Monday gave its nod to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to approve the new excise policy 2020-21 and take action against chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh alleged for misbehaviour.
Sources said the cabinet meeting began in the absence of the chief secretary as he was directed by the government not to attend it. Karan Avtar Singh had taken on the ministers at a pre-cabinet meeting on the excise policy on Saturday, insisting that the changes recommended by the ministers to the policy could not be taken on board. He also has the charge of the financial commissioner (excise and taxation) since December 31 last year. Thus, additional chief secretary (home and justice) Satish Chandra held the Monday meeting.
State finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, state technical education minister Charanjit Singh Channi and others reportedly declared that they would not attend cabinet meetings as long as the chief secretary attends the meetings. “I told the CM that if the chief secretary attends any meeting, I will not attend that. One has to maintain a decoram which he did not. Channi has supported me on the matter, ’’ said Badal.
Channi seconded Badal’s view and added that he was against the home delivery of liquor. The sources said as soon as the cabinet meeting started, the ministers told Amarinder Singh that they would not attend meetings in case the chief secretary is present.
Congress MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring has alleged that the chief secretary is running a distillery in Kapurthala. The licence to operate the distillery cannot be sub-let, since the country liquor quota stands only in the name of the licensee.