Update on India’s States: August 9, 2017

Bihar and Delhi legislatures begin monsoon sessions; Maharashtra launches a direct benefits transfer portal; Tamil Nadu puts new restriction on eligibility for subsidized food; Odisha is rolling out LED streetlights state-wide; states drag their feet on real estate regulation; and more.

Center-State relations

The information technology systems of treasuries of seven northeastern states (excluding Nagaland) have been integrated with the center’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS). The PFMS tracks fund disbursement and ensures that state treasuries are integrated with the center to ensure money is sent on schedule. Source: Economic Times

Only 15 of the 29 states met the July 31 deadline to publish regulations under the central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), passed in 2016 to increase purchaser protections in India’s real estate sector. Many of the states that have issued rules under the act have exempted projects already under way, diluting its impact. Source: Economic Times

 


The Lok Sabha passed a bill establishing the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. IIPE will offer training and conduct advanced research in conventional hydrocarbons. Source: NDTV

Energy Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao announced that the state government will launch a pilot program of power storage batteries in two neighborhoods in the Vizianagaram and Nellore districts. Mr. Rao said that battery storage would help ensure continuous power supply in case of emergencies. Source: The Hindu

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a six-week training program in e-governance for state government officials. The training, which is designed to familiarize state officials with new technologies, is led by a team from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Source: Indian Express


The monsoon session of the both houses of the Bihar legislature will commence August 21. The brief session will close August 25. Source: Indian Express

Relatively high growth in agriculture buoyed Bihar’s overall gross domestic product growth rate to 10.2 percent in the 2016-17 fiscal year, compared to just over 7 percent the previous year. Source: Times of India

Only 477 of Bihar’s 39,073 villages are now without an electricity connection, with the state having achieved 98.8 percent electrification. Source: Economic Times

The Delhi assembly’s four-day Monsoon Session will begin on August 8. The main legislative business will involve re-passage of several bills returned by the Union government with objections; these include a minimum wage law and a law guaranteeing that city services will be provided within set time limits. Source: First Post


India signed a loan agreement with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for $329 million in financing for the Gujarat Rural Roads Project. The project will provide all-weather road connectivity to 1,060 villages in the state. Source: Economic Times


Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said an additional 1,000 villages in the state will get 24/7 electricity supply beginning August 15. Currently 500 villages receive round-the-clock power. Source: Outlook India


Karnataka signed an agreement with Tata Trusts and Tata Consultancy Services to set up a health services hub in Kolar that will use digital technologies to ensure that district residents receive benefits under Universal Health Coverage; digitize patient records; and increase use of primary care centers by 50 percent. The state government has agreed to provide the physical infrastructure and manpower to deliver services. Source: The Hindu


Nothing critical to report this week.


Maharashtra launched the MahaDBT portal, which will allow cash benefits under all government schemes to be transferred directly into beneficiaries’ bank accounts. Aadhaar will be mandatory to claim benefits through the portal. Source: Financial Express


Adani Transmission said it has acquired two transmission utilities from Rajasthan’s state transmission corporation through competitive bidding. Rajasthan formed the two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) — Barmer Power Transmission Service Ltd (BPTSL) and Thar Power Transmission Service Ltd — in 2016 to set up 132 kilovolt substations and associated transmission lines. The two utilities have now become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Adani Transmission. Source: Economic Times


The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco) is in talks with private power producers to extend current medium-term power purchase agreements by two years with a tariff of 4 cents per unit, down from the current rate of up to 7 cents per unit. Tangedco is in talks with Jindal Power, Adani Enterprises, and National Energy Trading and Services Ltd for a total capacity of 500 megawatts (MW). Source: The Hindu

Tamil Nadu recently published new rules for eligibility for subsidized foodgrains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). The new guidelines exclude several categories of household, including all households with an income tax payer, at least five acres of land, or an air conditioner. Source: India Today


Telangana has signed an agreement with Microsoft India to adopt cloud-based analytics solution for the state’s child health screening program. It will use Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare, an artificial intelligence platform that uses big data and research insights from U.S. and Indian institutions, to screen children for vision issues. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Nasscom Foundation and technology firm Arcesium jointly established the state’s first rural digital literacy center at Peddashapur village on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The center trains people to use computers and mobile phones so that they will be able to register for government documents, pay bills, send emails, and use the internet. Source: Hindu Business Line

The state government published a comprehensive set of guidelines for the real estate sector under the central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. The Telangana State Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017 create a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the Telangana State Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. Source: The Hindu


The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation has asked the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) to assist it in developing a long term power purchase policy. IIT-K will conduct a study to chart out the best strategy for power procurement, taking into account likely demand growth over the next 10 years. Source: Financial Express

The Uttar Pradesh rules for implementing the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act alter the definition of an “ongoing project” to remove all current construction projects from the purview of the Act. The rules also sharply reduce penalties for builders who fail to follow through on their promises to home buyers. Source: Financial Express


The Mamata Banerjee government will allow up to 180 days of maternity leave for all female contract employees of the state government. Source: NDTV

Best of the Rest

Odisha

The Odisha government’s Housing and Urban Development department signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)  with Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL) for implementation of the national LED streetlight program in all the state’s 107 towns. EESL will replace all conventional streetlights with LED lights within a year. The change could help the state save 36 million units of electricity and $4.2 million annually. Source: Odisha TV

Jammu and Kashmir

The World Bank ruled that India is permitted to go forward with planned hydroelectric power plants on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. India is building the Kishanganga (330 MW) and Ratle (850 MW) hydroelectric plants in Jammu and Kashmir. Source: Business Today

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