Punjab chief secy Karan Avtar relieved of financial commissioner taxation charge
Three days after his showdown with state ministers, Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh was on Tuesday night relieved of the additional charge of financial commissioner taxation.
On Monday, finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal and his other cabinet colleagues had asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to sack the chief secretary saying they won’t be part of meetings attended by Karan Avtar.
Amarinder’s move, which came after a flurry of activity in the state top brass to find a way out of the crisis, is seen as an attempt to mollify the ministers
“This will certainly pacify the ministers,” said a cabinet minister, pleading anonymity. The chief minister has in fact adopted a middle path. He has taken care of ministers’ grouse and tried not to upset the bureaucracy by axing the chief secretary.
The chief secretary 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. The unsavoury face-off had led to ministers storming out of the meeting, with Manpreet being the first one to walk out. Principal secretary (water resources) A Venu Prasad will now hold the additional charge of financial commissioner taxation, according to an order issued here. As Prasad is on leave till May 20, principal secretary finance Anirudh Tewari will look after the work of the post of financial commissioner Ttaxation in addition to his present assignments, it added.