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Will invest 30% to buy equipment for cancer treatment: Meghalaya CM

Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, admitted that the Court order will affect the state's revenue collection but said it will go for a good cause.

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Shillong: The Meghalaya government has decided to invest 30 per cent of the total cess collected “illegally” under the Meghalaya Cement Cess Act, 2010 for purchasing specialized equipment for cancer treatment at the Shillong Civil Hospital.

“We won’t be challenging it (the order), we will go ahead with what the court has ordered,” Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said, reacting to the order of the High Court of Meghalaya.

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Sangma, who also holds the Finance portfolio, admitted that the Court order will affect the state’s revenue collection but said it will go for a good cause.

“We will go ahead and we will invest the 30 per cent that the court has asked us to,” the Chief Minister stated.

The Chief Minister said the government had been collecting the cess for the past 12 years after the Meghalaya Cement Cess Act, 2010 came into force. On February 9, a division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W Diengdoh had declared the Meghalaya Cement Cess Act, 2010 as ultra vires and directed the state government to refund 20 per cent of cess collected from two cement companies and to invest 30 per cent of total cess for the cancer wing of the Shillong Civil Hospital.

“If the facilities available by June 2023 are not adequate to deal with the cancer patients in the state, the petitioner will have the liberty to apply afresh in court,” the order said and disposed. 

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