Update on India’s States: August 16, 2017

Maharashtra opens the door to round-the-clock retail; West Bengal puts a key industrial license online; Andhra Pradesh increases the number of government services with strict delivery timelines; Goa looks for energy savings in water and sanitation infrastructure; and more.

Center–State relations

Nothing critical to report this week.


Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu approved reforms aimed at making the government more business-friendly and guaranteeing efficient public service. The Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2017 proposes 40 government services for which penalties will be imposed when government departments fail to act within a specified time limit. Source: The Hindu


Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited India’s first power substation with an all-female staff. The substation, in Patna, has 11 employees led by an assistant electrical engineer and was built by Bihar State Power (Holding) Corporation Limited. Source: Times of India


Nothing critical to report this week.


Gujarat has invited private thermal power producers to participate in a reverse auction to provide 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power to the state. The reserve price will be set at 4 cents per unit. The winning bidders will receive coal originally allocated to power generating stations owned by Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL). Power from GSECL’s thermal plants costs between 4 and 8 cents a unit. Source: Financial Express


Haryana notified state rules under the central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act that weaken protections for homebuyers. The central act applies to all real estate projects, but Haryana’s rules excluded a majority of ongoing projects, including projects with partial completion or occupation certificates. Source: The Hindu


Karnataka eliminated excise permits for ethanol leaving the state, becoming the first state to implement the 2016 amendments to the Industries Development and Regulation Act. States have traditionally taxed ethanol transit as part of their power to regulate alcohol; the amendments clarified that states can only regulate potable alcohol. Source: Financial Express

Karnataka has overtaken Gujarat to become India’s third highest producer of renewable energy, after Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Karnataka has 7,458 MW of installed capacity. Source: Times of India

The National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Kudgi plant began commercial production from the first of its planned three 800 MW units. The plant’s planned ultimate production capacity is 4,000 MW, but NTPC is considering obtaining the final 1,600 MW from solar power rather than thermal generation. Source: The Hindu


Nothing critical to report.

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passed a bill giving farmers voting rights in elections to the managing committees of the state’s Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs). APMCs control the wholesale market for farm produce. Source: Times of India

The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passed a bill allowing shops and restaurants to remain open 24/7. Retail outlets currently must close by 10 p.m., while restaurants must close by 12:30 a.m. Source: Indian Express

The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030WRG), a public-private collaboration convened by the International Finance Corporation, has agreed to help the Maharashtra government raise $270 million from the UN’s Green Climate Fund to fund water conservation efforts. The funds will be used for village-level water infrastructure development as well as crop diversification and other programs. Source: Hindu Business Line


Nothing critical to report this week.


Nothing critical to report this week.


Amazon India and the Telangana Department of Handloom and Textiles agreed to work together to enable the state’s artisans, particularly weavers, to bring their products directly to consumers via the Amazon platform. Amazon India will train the artisans to list and sell their goods. Source: Hindu Business Line

Telangana began a $311 million initiative to modernize and upgrade the Sriram Sagar irrigation project and increase the area served. The water-flow control development suffers from the effects of silting, reducing its storage capacity and its ability to serve a large area. Source: Hindu Business Line


Uttar Pradesh and the central government signed an MoU agreeing to open 1,000pharmacies participating in Prime Minister Modi’s Indian Public Health Project. The pharmacies will sell a set list of essential generic drugs at bargain prices. Source: Business Standard

The state government introduced an online portal to apply for fire licenses in a move to reduce the time it takes to receive such a license. Source: Business Standard

West Bengal grudgingly passed its version of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), replacing an ordinance promulgated earlier by the state government. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state would fight to improve the tax at the GST Council. Source: Economic Times

Best of the Rest

Goa

The state government signed an MoU with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to improve the energy efficiency of the state’s public works and sewage systems. EESL will audit approximately water and sewage 300 pumps in municipal areas across Goa to determine their efficiency and will then recommend either replacing or retrofitting them. Source: Times of India

Tripura

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a presence in the Tripura Assembly for the first time ever after six former Trinamool Congress legislators joined the party. The legislators were also all former members of the Indian National Congress. Assembly elections are due in early 2018. Source: Indian Express

Punjab

Workers in the building and construction trades will now have to use an online registration portal to receive benefits from schemes targeted at manual laborers. The state labor department will no longer allow manual registration with district labor departments. Source: Hindustan Times

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