Update on India’s States: December 28, 2018

Andhra Pradesh cabinet approves a Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy; Gujarat waives $89 million in unpaid electricity bills; Gujarat ranks first in a new index ranking the start-up ecosystems of Indian states; Delhi offers compensation for residents who suffer unscheduled power cuts lasting over one hour; Manipur passes the Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill; Uttar Pradesh rules against power tariff increases despite rising revenue deficits for state discoms; and more.

Center – State relations

The Union Cabinet approved the construction of a new four-lane bridge across the Ganga River on National Highway 19 in Patna, Bihar. The nine-mile bridge will cost $417 million over the next three years. Source: The Hindu Business Line

According to a report by the NITI Aayog and the United Nations ranking states on achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have emerged as the front runners while Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh hold the lowest rankings. Source: Live Mint In detail: SDG India Index Baseline Report, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Union Cabinet approved the setting up of two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana. The new AIIMS will be in the states of Tamil Nadu and Telangana respectively, and will cost a total $326.50 million. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press Release

The Andhra Pradesh cabinet approved the state’s Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy 2018. The policy is aimed at encouraging hybrid renewal energy projects in the state and set a target to  generate 18,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy by 2021-22. Source: The Hindu

Nothing critical to report this week.

The National Capital Region Transport Corporation board, chaired by the secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has approved a project proposal for a segment of the Delhi – Alwar rapid rail transit system corridor. Source: Financial Express

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved compensation for residents who suffer unscheduled power cuts lasting over one hour. The consumer will be compensated $7.10 per hour for the first two hours of the power cut, and $14.20 for every subsequent hour. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd’s 700 MW solar tender concluded with foreign developers offering the lowest tariffs. Softbank-backed SB Energy won 250 MW at the lowest tariff of $0.0406/kilowatt-hour (kWh), while Finnish developer Fortum and French company Engie won 250 MW and 200 MW respectively, after bidding the same tariff of $0.0413/kWh. Source: Economic Times

According to a new index ranking the start-up ecosystems of Indian states released by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion of India’s Commerce Ministry, Gujarat is the best performer. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: States’ Start-up Ranking  2018

The Gujarat government announced a complete waiver of $89 million in unpaid electricity bills under its one-time settlement scheme for over 600,000 people living in rural parts of the state. Source: Economic Times

The Haryana government has decided that Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited will begin installation of solar energy plants on land held by the gram panchayat (village council). The government noted that if a gram panchayat installs a solar energy plant using its own resources, the power generation company will provide technical assistance. Source: Economic Times

The Haryana cabinet announced a decision to reduce the charges of converting residential plots for commercial use, as well as for regularizing unauthorized residential colonies in the state. The decision will benefit owners of residential units located in unauthorized residential colonies. Source: Times of India

The Karnataka government announced a bonus subsidy of $6 per 100 kilograms, or quintal, for tur (pigeon pea) growers for a maximum of 10 quintals. The subsidy would be above the minimum support price of $81 for the pulses crop, bringing the total pay-out for tur growers to $87.10 a quintal for the 2018-19 season. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The new chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath, took his first decision within hours of being sworn in by approving a crop loan waiver of loans from nationalized and co-operative banks of up to $2,860. Source: Economic Times

Energy Efficiency Services Limited has floated a tender for 160 MW of solar projects to be developed near pooling substations across the state of Maharashtra. Source: Mercom

The Maharashtra cabinet announced a $21.4 million compensation scheme for onion farmers, who sold onions between November 1 to December 15, during which onion prices fell to as low as $0.01 (Rs. 1) per kilogram. Source: Economic Times

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced waiver of all short-term loans taken by farmers from cooperative banks, and loans of up to $2,850 from other banks. The chief minister noted that the waiver “will put a burden of $2.56 billion on the [state’s] exchequer.” Source: Live Mint

The Tamil Nadu government launched a $1.93 million scheme to enroll children under the age of five into the Aadhar scheme using portable biometric machines and laptops to collect biometric data of children from their homes. Source: Business Standard

The Telangana government issued an ordinance amending the Telangana Panchayat Raj Bill 2019 to include a clause that the total reservations in Panchayat Raj elections for backward classes will not exceed 50 percent. Source: Times Now In detail: Telangana Panchayat Raj Bill 2018

The Uttar Pradesh government tabled its second Supplementary Budget of the current fiscal 2018-19 totalling over $1.14 billion. In the first Supplementary Budget tabled in August 2018, the government had sought additional funds worth $4.97 billion for ongoing projects. Source: Business Standard

India’s largest online health camp, myUpchar, launched its “Saathi” app and “Health Card” in Uttar Pradesh to provide healthcare services in rural areas of the state. myUpchar and its partners partner will collect the basic details like weight, height, blood pressure, glucose, pulse, and temperature from these areas and share those on the app with doctors. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission ruled out proposals for power tariff increases for consumers in Noida amid pressure from residents and local outfits despite the discom for Noida facing a revenue deficit of about $428.7 million this year. Source: Times of India

The Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned a budget of almost $213.23 million for a second round of crop loan waivers for farmers who did not avail themselves of an earlier farm loan waiver scheme in 2017. Source: Business Standard

The West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited issued a tender for 600 kilowatts (KW) of grid-connected rooftop solar systems to be set up in the state. The project calls for 60 rooftop solar systems of capacity ten KW at an estimated cost of $512,710. Source: Mercom

Best of the Rest

Assam

The Assam government approved an $85.5 million farm loan waiver which it said will benefit around 800,000 farmers in the state. Source: Live Mint

Assam will launch three schemes for farmers, including a partial loan reimbursement program and another that will make crop loans effectively interest-free, aiming to give a fillip to the flow of agricultural credit. These schemes together will cost $142.5 million to the state government. Source: Economic Times

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh assembly passed the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Bill, 2018, making all offenses under the NDPS Act non-bailable. The bill also does not provide any relaxation in cannabis cultivation or use, which was a major point of contention raised by some members of the legislative assembly. Source: Times of India

Jharkhand

The Jharkhand government announced that it will give farmers financial assistance of $71.27 per acre for kharif (autumn) crops. Source: First Post

Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir State Administrative Council approved a $12.6 billion state budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year  to give a massive push to public infrastructure in the state. Source: Financial Express

Kerala

The Kerala government informed the center of a lack of interest in the state for the center’s rural housing scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen). The center responded by stating that the Kerala government that it can surrender the target under the scheme so that the target can be transferred to another state where people can benefit from the subsidy for rural housing. Source: Economic Times

Manipur

The Manipur assembly passed the Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill in order to stop the increasing number of lynchings in the state. The law recommends punishment for lynching, public humiliation through exclusion from public services and forcing a person to leave his or her home without their consent. Source: Scroll.in In detail: Manipur Protection from Mob Violence Bill

Odisha

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced a $1.42 billion scheme for the overall development of farmers in the state. While the scheme does not include a fam loan waiver, it will provide $142 to every farming family in the state. Source: NDTV

Punjab

The Punjab State Power Corporation Limited set a record for itself by selling power worth $142.8 million to other states in single financial year. Source: Times of India

Sikkim

The Sikkim Assembly approved creation of over 16,000 temporary jobs in different departments of the government as part of the government’s “One family, One job” scheme announced by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling earlier this year. The scheme aims to provide jobs to a member of every family who does not have a government job. Source: The Telegraph

The Sikkim assembly passed the third supplementary demands for grant of $47.6 million and the subsequent appropriation bill on the final day of the winter session for the assembly. The passage of an appropriation bill authorizes the state government to take the sanctioned money from the consolidated fund of Sikkim. Source: The North East Today 

Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) has issued a draft order reviewing the benchmark capital cost for solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, grid-interactive rooftop, and small solar PV projects to be applicable for the financial year 2019-20. The UERC has invited comments on the draft order from all the stakeholders until January 12, 2019. Source: Mercom In detail: Benchmark Capital Cost Review

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