Punjab chief secretary asked to stay away from cabinet meeting on excise policy

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In order to pave way for facilitating the approval of the excise policy in the cabinet meeting scheduled for 1 pm on Monday, Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh has been asked by the government to stay away from the meeting for two hours

It is learnt that as a stop-gap arrangement, seniormost officer Satish Chandra, who is the Home Secretary, has been asked to conduct the meeting.

The ministers had earlier made up their mind to take up the issue of the Chief Secretary and the pro-contractor clauses in the cabinet meeting with the Chief Minister. This would have caused embarrassment to the Chief Minister and the government.

On Friday, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, along with other ministers, had walked out of the meeting over the alleged remarks made by the Chief Secretary.

Sources said having spoken to the Chief Minister about their concerns over the excise policy, the ministers are likely to authorise him to go ahead with the excise policy.

Even as the Chief Secretary (CS) has been asked to stay away from the cabinet meeting, allegations of conflict of interest on his part have been levelled by Congress MLA Amrinder Singh Raja Warring

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