Punjab ministers walk out of liquor policy meeting - ECAS Punjab

Punjab ministers walk out of liquor policy meeting

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Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 9

A meeting between top officers and Punjab Cabinet ministers over the Excise Policy 2020-21 here on Saturday ended in a deadlock with the ministers walking out. Among the officers present were Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner (Taxation) Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar and Principal Secretary to CM Tejvir Singh.

Why walkout, asks Bittu

If they (ministers) found bureaucracy to be incompetent, they should have replaced the officers and not staged a walkout themselves. — Ravneet Bittu, Ludhiana MP

The meeting was called to finalise the draft Excise Policy, which was to be tabled at a Cabinet meeting later in the day. Finance Minister Manpreet Badal and Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, objecting to "undue benefits" to liquor contractors, reportedly observed that a minimum 10 per cent increase in revenue compared to the previous year should have been proposed. In response, the Chief Secretary reportedly made some remark, pointing to the "non-viability"of their suggestions, infuriating the ministers. Told to approach the CM regarding their objections, Manpreet is learnt to have questioned the purpose of the meeting when the officers had "already made up their mind." He walked out. Other ministers followed suit.

Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa is learnt to have questioned the department for "incurring losses regularly."

Neither the officers nor ministers took calls for comment.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2zsdobr

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