Update on India’s States: April 5, 2017

UDAY brings enrollment up to 27 states, as Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh raise power tariffs; Gujarat will set private school tuition costs; Telangana has underestimated its deficit; Japan will build irrigation systems in Rajasthan; West Bengal sends its first fish shipments to East Asia; and more.

Center–State relations

Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram have joined the center’s debt relief scheme for power distribution companies, the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY), bringing the total number of states enrolled to 27. Earlier participants have been able to reduce subsidies to debt-laden power distribution companies by 5 to 10 percent. Source: Hindu Business Line; PTI, Business Standard

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu expanded his cabinet to 26 ministers, inducting 11 new ministers and removing five. New ministers include the chief minister’s son, N Lokesh, and members of the politically powerful Reddy community. Source: Indian Express

The AP Electricity Regulatory Commission approved increases of 3 to 6 percent in power tariffs for the new fiscal year. Agricultural consumers and those who use small amounts of power per month will not see any change in their bills, but heavy electricity users will pay more per unit. The increase will bring in an additional $123 million per year; the state’s distribution companies owe $1.24 billion. Source: Times of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a business park in Andhra Pradesh. The park will focus on new technologies including biotechnology, big data, and robotics. Source: The Hans India

PTC Energy announced it had commissioned five wind power projects with an aggregate capacity of 240 megawatts (MW) in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, with nearly 190 MW located in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Business Standard

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that the state government will provide direct power subsidies to consumers to reduce the impact of new tariff hikes. The chief minister’s statement came six days after Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced a 55 percent increase in power tariffs. Consumers will still see their tariffs go up by 20 percent. BERC had not raised tariffs since 2011. Source: Financial Express, Economic Times

The Comptroller and Auditor General found that per-unit generating costs at Delhi’s two power generation companies had doubled between 2012 and 2016, increasing the cost of power in the capital and causing the city’s privately-owned distribution companies to seek to purchase power elsewhere. Source: Financial Express

The Gujarat Assembly passed a bill regulating the fees charged by private schools. The bill creates four Fee Regulatory Committees (one for each of the four geographic areas of the state) which will set the fees for admission to any class or course in independent schools. Source: NDTV

The Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission will leave power tariffs unchanged for all consumers in the new fiscal year. Source: Livemint

State-run power developer THDC India has commissioned its new wind power project, with a capacity of 63 MW, in Dwarka district. Source: Economic Times In Detail: Press Release

Haryana will extend a program that offers cash to parents of a second daughter to include third daughters. Families whose third daughter is born on or after August 24, 2015 will receive a one-time grant of $324. Source: Indian Express

The Haryana government released its Textile Policy 2017 to incentivize firms to open new plants  and to encourage modernization of the industry. Source: Times of India In detail:  Textile Policy 2017

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) has commissioned the second 800-MW unit of the Yeramarus thermal power plant in Raichur district. Source: Money Control

Renewables developer Azure Power commissioned a 130 MW solar project on 667 acres in Chitradurga district. Azure has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with three distribution companies at a tariff of 10 cents per kilowatt hour. Source: PV-Tech

The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (MPERC) has raised power tariffs by an average of 9.48 percent for the 2017-18 fiscal year. Agricultural consumers will see an increase of 13 percent, while industrial power tariffs will go up 5 percent. Source: Financial Express

Over 370 town and city services will now be available online through the ‘MP E-nagarpalika’ mobile app. The app is part of the state’s $34.7 million ‘e-nagarpalika’ project, which seeks to make all municipal services available online via a unified web platform. Source: Indian Express

According to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Madhya Pradesh power distribution companies (discoms) accounted for more than 96 percent of losses incurred by public sector units in fiscal year 2016. Annual losses for the three discoms totalled more than $791 million. Source: Financial Express

Both houses of the state legislature amended the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act to enable legalization of unauthorised buildings erected on or before December 31, 2015. Those seeking to regularize a building will have to pay compounding charges, infrastructure charges and a premium. The bill also makes it easier to prosecute unauthorized construction on plots over 10,000 square feet. Source: Times of India

Azure Power has commissioned a 7 MW solar plant to supply electricity to defense establishments in Maharashtra. The project was completed in collaboration with Solar Energy Corporation of India. Source: Money control

The National Thermal Power Corporation commissioned a 55 MW solar power unit at the Bhadla plant and private solar developer Vikram Solar commissioned 130 MW of capacity at the same solar park. Source: Hindu Business Line, PV-Magazine

The Rajasthan government signed an MoU with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to carry out a $400 million project to renovate 137 dams and irrigation structures in 25 districts. Source: Times of India

Thanks to their feeder improvement program, distribution losses among Rajasthan’s discoms have fallen nearly 4.3 percentage points, to 23.4 percent. The discoms’ annual financial loss should fall by $923 million. Source: Outlook India, Hindustan Times

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak held talks with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and senior state officials to discuss investment opportunities for Malaysian companies in Rajasthan. Source: Business Standard

Tamil Nadu is issuing “smart” digital ration cards, most of them linked to Aadhaar ID number, to replace the state’s current ration cards. The cards will prevent duplication and theft and cardholders will be able to apply online to replace lost cards. Source: Economic Times

The second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Project, with a capacity of 1,000 MW, became fully operational. India’s total nuclear power capacity in now stands at 6,780 MW. Source: Economic Times

A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that Telangana had understated its fiscal deficit by $573 million by crediting borrowings as receipts. Properly calculated, the state’s fiscal deficit is 3.87 percent of the state domestic product, not 3.23 percent as Telangana had previously announced. Source: Hindu Business Line

Telangana has postponed work on a proposed 1,000 MW solar energy project due to a lack of interest from companies. Source: Deccan Chronicle

The Powergrid Corporation announced commissioning of the 765 kilovolt (kV) Wardha–Nizamabad D/C line along with the Nizamabad GIS Substation. The system will facilitate import of power from Chattisgarh to Telangana. Source: Hindu Business Line

The center approved plans to build a 1,320 MW coal-based power plant in Bulandshahar district at a cost of $1.5 billion. The project would be implemented by state-run THDC India Ltd and the state government. Source: Economic Times

The West Bengal fisheries department has received orders worth $138 million to export processed fish to Dubai, Japan, and China. This is the first time that the state has exported fish to those markets. Source: Economic Times

A 22-member business delegation from Shandong province in China will visit West Bengal this week to meet with Indian business leaders. The delegation will focus on forming joint ventures and the agriculture sector. Source: Business Standard

Best of the Rest


The International Finance Corporation has proposed an investment of up to $20 million in Guwahati-based RGVN (North East) Microfinance Ltd. RGVN will use the funds to expand its presence and loan offerings in India’s north-eastern states. Source: VC Circle


GE Energy Connections has successfully transmitted 1,500 MW of power as part of phase I of the Champa Ultra High Voltage Direct Current project. The project will bring thermal power produced in Chhattisgarh to the northern states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana through an 850 mile energy highway. When complete the project will transport 6,000 MW. Source: Economic Times


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