Update on India’s States: February 24, 2016


West Bengal’s finance minister Amit Mitra (former head of FICCI) to lead GST committee for states; Andhra legislature meets starting March 5; Delhi government launches solar power subsidy program; Karnataka expands industrial self-certification program; Maharasthra dramatically liberalizes retail sector; Tamil Nadu budget deficit increases sharply (again); Telangana budget session commences second week of March.

Center-State relations

India received investment commitments worth $221 billion during the inaugural Make in India conference in Mumbai. More than 102 countries and 17 states participated. Source: Business Standard

The government has appointed West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra as chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers. The empowered committee will help to determine the final contours of the goods and services tax and spearhead its implementation. Source: Livemint

The Budget session of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature will begin in Hyderabad on March 5. Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu will present the state budget for the 2016-17 financial year on March 10. Agriculture Minister P. Pulla Rao will present the budget for the agriculture sector on the same day. Source: Economic Times

The Competition Commission has approved two joint ventures between GAIL India and the Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corporation, formed for the purpose of building a floating LNG terminal in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Economic Times

To promote solar projects in the city, the Delhi government will pay $0.029 for each unit of solar energy produced by domestic solar panel owners and charitable organizations and will also waive the mandatory certification of solar projects for projects up to 200 kW. This incentive will be funded by Delhi government’s “air ambience fund” created from a $0.004 tax on each liter of diesel bought in the city. Source: Economic Times

Largescale protests by members of the Jat caste resulted in damage to the main canal bringing water to Delhi, causing residents to be restricted to drinking water only on February 22. The protestors, based mainly in neighboring Haryana state, are demanding inclusion in affirmative action reservations for college placement and government jobs. Source: Economic Times


The Gujarat government signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth over $115 million during Make in India week, including an MoU with French company Tar Kovacs Systems for an offshore platform to develop marine applications and with a Denmark-based wind energy company to produce wind mill blades near Ahmedabad. Source: Business Standard

Japanese two-wheeler giant Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) commissioned its fourth Indian plant at Vithalapur. The 250-acre facility was completed in just 13 months. Source: Business Standard

Gujarat is hosting a three-day exposition with hundreds of tourism-related businesses to boost its tourism sector. Gujarat is expecting investments of $436 million in the sector in the next five years. Source: Business Standard


Karnataka has introduced a voluntary self-certification scheme for businesses which will effectively free them from repeated inspections. Only 30 percent of establishments in the state will now be subject to random inspection. Source: Business Standard

The Karnataka government received investment commitments worth $1.5 billion during the Make in India conference. Commitments were made by, among others, the Tar Kovacs Systems Group, which plans to establish an ocean-based renewable energy project, and by McCormick Ingredients, which plans to set up a food processing unit in the state. Source: Economic Times

Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won two out of three seats in assembly by-elections held February 13. The Congress, which currently holds a majority in the state legislature, won the third seat. Source: Economic Times


The Maharashtra government released a major new retail policy that significantly liberalizes the sector. The new retail policy allows businesses to stay open seven days a week and nearly 24 hours a day. Retail outlets with fewer than 9 employees will be allowed to register online. Under the new policy, farmers will be able to sell their goods directly to retailers rather than being required to go through middlemen. Source: Business Standard

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state has received investment commitments worth over $116 billion during the just-concluded ‘Make in India’ conference. Source: Economic Times

The City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra signed 11 MoUs worth $4.4 billion for the development of the area around the Mumbai airport, including in Khalapur Smart City. Source: Economic Times

Chief Minister Fadnavis announced that the country’s second International Finance Centre (IFC) will be set up at the Bandra-Kurla Complex next to the proposed terminal for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. Source: Hindu Business Line


Nothing critical to report.



Tamil Nadu once again faces a sharp increase in its budget deficit. The interim budget for 2016-17 showed the State’s expenditure outstripping its revenue by $1.33 billion. The interim budget included no new revenue proposals or policy measures, as the State will hold Assembly elections before the end of May. Source: The Hindu

The Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed bills mandating that 50 percent of seats in town and village councils be reserved for women. Source: The Hindu

The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a new fisheries act that bans mechanized fishing vessels from fishing within five nautical miles of the coast. Source: Economic Times

The Budget session of Telangana Legislative Assembly will commence in the second week of March. Source: New Indian Express

Telangana’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won the Narayankhed assembly seat in a by-election with a margin of 53,000 votes. The Congress party had previously held the seat. Source: Hindustan Times

Thermal Powertech Corporation India (TPCIL), said it has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Telangana’s power distribution companies in. TPCIL will sell Telangana 570 megawatts of power from its Andhra Pradesh coal-fired power plant for a period of eight years. Source: Economic Times

Global retail giant Walmart is going ahead with expansion plans in Telangana. Walmart, which currently operates a single wholesale store in the state, is gearing up to open seven more. Source: The Hans India


The ruling Samajwadi Party, the Congress, and the BJP each won a single seat in recent Assembly by-elections. The Samajwadi Party had previously held all three seats. Source: The Hindu


Leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have come to a tacit electoral understanding with the Congress in the run-up to state assembly elections in West Bengal. The two parties both oppose the ruling Trinamool Congress, but their fierce rivalry in Kerala, which will also hold elections this spring, prevents them for forming an explicit alliance. Source: The Hindu


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