Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had demanded from the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues to pass an ordinance giving him powers to audit the accounts of Fastway cable company that dominates the market in Punjab. These powers are with the excise and taxation department, which is with the CM.
Fireworks are expected at Friday’s cabinet meeting as Sidhu has prepared an agenda item which would be taken up for discussion only after the CM’s approval. Some ministers are demanding tough action against the company, allegedly patronised by the SAD’s Badals, while the CM has maintained that there’s no vendetta and that law would take its course.
The CM and those from his office, besides the chief secretary, held long discussions on Thursday but the final agenda was still to be circulated
Salary hike for self: The cabinet is also expected to discuss the issue of increase in salaries for ministers. The ministers, a source said, had approached the CM for it, taking the plea that salaries of administrative secretaries were more than theirs. They had also raised the grouse that advisers engaged by the government have higher salaries.
Question of transparency: The cabinet is also expected to give clearance to a notification asking MLAs to submit their property details before the government every year. The matter has already been approved. Another decision taken in the past, of decreasing stamp duty from 9% to 6% on property registration, will also get cabinet nod to be notified.