Update on India’s States: February 1, 2017

DIPP reduces action points for its ranking of states’ business environments; Tata Power has implemented a micro-grid in Bihar; key Gujarat power distribution utility misses renewable target; Ola & Uber declared illegal in Karnataka; Shiv Sena & BJP separately contesting Maharashtra municipal elections; Tamil Nadu drafts rules for Real Estate Act; and more.

Center-State relations

The central Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), in consultation with states and the World Bank, has pruned the number of action points in its new ranking of ease of doing business in states, reducing the list to 294 down from 340. The final list, which now reflects states’ priorities for action, is due to be released shortly. Source: Economic Times

Andhra Pradesh signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for $155 billion of investments during the 23rd Confederation of Indian Industry Partnership Summit. The value of deals signed was more than double that produced by last year’s Summit. Source: Economic Times

Andhra Pradesh announced a $14.7 million fund of funds to invest in start-ups in the fintech sector. The fund will be managed by a venture capital firm. Source: India Today

Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company (AG&P), the leading global integrator of liquid natural gas (LNG) infrastructure solutions, and Hindustan LNG, a Hyderabad-based LNG import terminal development company, have signed an MOU to supply tolled gas to power stations in the East Godavari region of Andhra Pradesh. Under the agreement, AG&P will provide an integrated solution to deliver regasified LNG through a new LNG import terminal that AG&P will also design and build at the port in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Business Wire

The publicly-owned Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has signed three deals for financial assistance of around $8.8 billion to the Andhra Pradesh power sector. REC will grant $5.8 billion to Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp, $1.5 billion to Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh and $1.5 billion to the state’s power distribution companies (discoms). Source: Money Control

Power distribution company Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (DDL) has implemented a microgrid project in Bihar’s Tayabpur village, which has an estimated 190 dwellings with a population of around 1000. The project is in line with the central government’s electrification program, which aims to provide “electricity to all” by establishing a standalone off-grid village electrification system where grid supply has not reached or is not feasible. For the project, Tata Power-DDL has been supported by partners including TataTrusts, MIT, Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre, and General Electric. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd.’s (GUVNL) four affiliated distribution companies fell short of purchasing required renewable energy in 2015-16 on account of low supply of power from wind and other renewable energy sources. Under the state’s Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO), a distribution company is mandated to buy 9 percent of electricity from renewable energy (7 percent from wind, 1.5 percent from solar and 0.5 percent from other sources). GUVNL procured only 7.66 percent from renewable energy sources in 2015-16. Source: Economic Times

The United Arab Emirates has reviewed a plan to develop an LNG terminal in Gujarat in coordination with Swan Energy, according to official Emirates News Agency. The matter came up for discussion during crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s recent visit to India. Abu Dhabi National Marine Dredging Company presented its plan and will undertake a contract to develop the terminal. Source: Natural Gas World

Organizations representing the Jat caste launched fresh demands for quotas in government jobs and public colleges in 18 districts. As similar protests in 2016 caused widespread disruption, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure has been brought into in force in several parts of the state, prohibiting gathering of five or more persons, carrying of firearms and other weapons, and open sale of petrol, diesel and other inflammable materials. Source: Indian Express

Haryana has established an Information Security Management Office (ISMO) that is carrying out Vulnerability Analysis and Penetration Testing on a continuous basis for 30 of the state’s IT assets. ISMO plans to cover all of the state’s IT networks within one year. Source: Times of India

Governor Vajubhai Vala has accepted the state government’s recommendation to appoint former high court judge Justice P Vishwanath Shetty as Lokayukta (anticorruption ombudsman). The office of Lokayukta has been vacant for over a year. Source: Indian Express

Ride-hailing apps Ola and Uber may have to cease operations in Karnataka after the state transport commissioner deemed them to be illegal. The state transport department ruled that the services’ permits do not allow them to pick up and drop off passengers during the course of the ride but can only offer point-to-point pick-ups and dropoffs. Source: Livemint

Karnataka has identified 225,000 families to participate in the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which seeks to provide liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connection to poor families. The state government will provide them with free double burner stoves and LPG connections. Source: TOI

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a total ban on polythene bags in the state beginning May 1 in Madhya Pradesh in a bid to conserve the environment, protect cows, and promote cleanliness. Source: Indian Express

Madhya Pradesh will be the third state in the country to have an indoor power station in residential areas. The new sub-station uses the Gas Insulated Supply System to switch from high transmission voltages and lower distribution voltages. Source: Times of India

Former coalition partners Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will separately contest elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and nine other municipal corporations in Maharashtra next month. Uddhav Thackeray, executive president of Shiv Sena, said his party will also fight alone for elections to 25 town councils in Maharashtra. Source: Livemint

The state government announced the formation of the Maharashtra Railway Infrastructure Development Company Limited (MRIDC), a joint partnership between the state government and the central railway ministry. With seed capital of $7.3 million, MRIDC will work on railway projects everywhere in the state except Mumbai. Source: Daily News and Analysis; Times of India

The Rajasthan government has signed an MOU to develop e-learning and ‘smart’ classes in 206 government schools in Jodhpur under the rubric of ‘Project Utkarsh.’ The MOU was signed by the district education department and the project’s partners, including the Moinee Foundation. Source: BW Smart Cities

Tamil Nadu circulated draft rules putting into effect the central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act of 2016. The rules allow jail time for developers who fail to deliver housing projects on time and mandate registration of real estate agents. The draft rules do not address single window approval for development projects, which was high on developers’ wish lists. Source: Economic Times

The second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu has attained its generation capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity and will soon start commercial power generation. The unit is India’s 22nd nuclear power reactor and among the largest in the country. Source: Hindustan Times

State-run power equipment maker Bharat Hindustan Electronics Ltd (BHEL) and industrial technology company ABB have won a contract worth $200 million from the Power Grid Corporation to set up a 800 kilovolt, 6,000 MW high voltage direct current link between the Western Region Grid (Raigarh, Chattisgarh) and the Southern Region Grid (Pugalur, Tamil Nadu).

Source: Economic Times

The Telangana government has signed an MOU with French firm Aerocampus Aquitaine, known for aircraft maintenance skill training, to create a skill academy focused on aeronautical skills. Aerocampus will identify skill gaps, design courses, and pursue European Aviation Safety Agency and Directorate General of Civil Aviation certifications for the academy. Source: Hindu Business Line

Nothing critical to report this week.

Vodafone India signed an MOU with the West Bengal government to invest $440 million in capacity augmentation and new business initiatives over next three years. The MoU, signed at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2017, also aims to preserve Vodafone’s market share in the state by offering customers an enhanced network. Source: Economic Times

Best of the Rest:


Jharkhand’s state-owned power distribution company, Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Ltd (JBVNL) is once again in debt despite Jharkhand’s early entry into the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana, the center’s debt relief scheme for state electricity distribution bodies. Jharkhand signed on in September 2015, making it the first state to join the scheme, and received debt relief totaling $814 million. One year later, JBVNL now owes $230 million to power producers. Source: The Weekend Leader


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