Update on India’s States: February 3, 2016


Winners of the first round of the Smart Cities competition were announced; Maharashtra gets rid of more regulations; Rajasthan sets a minimum wage for domestic workers; Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan join the center’s discom-revival scheme; and more.

Center-State relations

The government announced the first 20 winners of the Smart Cities competition; the winners will be the first cities to be developed as Smart Cities. Bhubaneswar in Odisha topped the list, followed by Pune and Jaipur. The next 23 cities on the list will have the opportunity to revise their proposals and re-submit them by April 15, 2016, for evaluation. Each of the winning cities will receive $73 million over the next four years. Source: Economic Times, Business Standard

Gujarat and Maharashtra are considering joining the central government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme in order to take advantage of concessional coal, power and finance rates. Source: Economic Times

13 states and Union Territories have begun registering 100 percent of First Information reports (FIRs) through the national Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS). The long-planned CCTNS is designed to help police track crime and criminals across state borders by linking nearly 15,000 police stations across the country. Source: Economic Times

The Union Railways ministry signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with the Andhra Pradesh state government. The JV will be 51 percent owned by the state government and will focus on project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects. Source: Financial Express

The budget session of the AP Assembly will begin on March 1 and will be held in Hyderabad. Source: The Hindu

The Delhi government will hold meetings in all the 70 assembly constituencies on February 6 and 7 to assess public opinion before implementing the second phase of the odd-even scheme in the national capital. The government is in the final stages of preparing its new environmental policy. Source: Economic Times, Economic Times


Gujarat’s controversial anti-terror bill was returned to the Assembly by President Pranab Mukherjee, who sought additional information. The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, 2015 was first introduced in 2003, but it was rejected by the two previous administrations. President Mukherjee’s assent is required because the bill is in conflict with some central laws, including those governing telephone wiretaps. Source: Indian Express

The leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have allegedly given Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel three months to resolve the Patel community’s seven-month-old agitation for reservations in government jobs. The BJP performed poorly in recent local elections in Gujarat, its traditional stronghold. Source: Economic Times


Karnataka’s three-day global investment summit, Invest Karnataka, begins on February 3 in Bangalore. The event opens as industries in the state are complaining about a lack of adequate public transport and power, and as neighboring states, such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, are becoming increasingly competitive. Invest Karnataka will particularly focus on investment in the textile sector. Source: Business Standard, Hindu Business Line

Karnataka released its new start-up policy shortly before the Invest Karnataka event. The policy aims to create innovation infrastructure in the state through technology and entrepreneurship incubators, which would fund early-stage start-ups. Source: Your Story



As part of its Ease of Doing Business program, the Maharashtra government will no longer require five licenses (food registration certificate, swimming pool permit, and three types of public performance and entertainment licenses) that businesses in the state’s hospitality industry were previously required to obtain. Source: Hindu Business Line

Maharashtra announced a new non-conventional energy policy that encourages city councils to make solar water heaters compulsory for new buildings. The state will also grant $395 million in subsidies over the next five years to government offices that install solar pumps, solar steam cookers, or power generating plants based on bio-waste. Source: Hindu Business Line

The central government re-issued environmental permissions for the ambitious 13.5 mile Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project. The project, to be built at a cost of $1.75 billion, involves the construction of a six-lane road bridge to ease congestion and reduce pollution in Mumbai. Source: Economic Times

Responding to political pressure, the Maharashtra government will not amend the state’s Rent Control Act (1999) to allow landlords to charge market rents in central Mumbai. Source: Economic Times


The Rajasthan government has set minimum wages and maximum hours for domestic workers. The minimum salary for a month’s work at eight hours a day has been fixed at $83 per month, and employers must pay overtime for longer days. Source: Times of India

Rajasthan has become the third state to sign a memorandum of understanding to join the central government’s state electricity utility revival scheme. Under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, the Rajasthan government will take over $8.9 billion of the debt on the books of the electricity distribution utilities. Source: Hindu Business Line



Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa laid the foundation stone for the state’s first 800 megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-based power plant. Public sector enterprise Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. won the contract for the $940 million project, which will occupy over 250 acres of land in Tiruvallur. Source: Hindu Business Line

After a hiatus of seven months, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district resumed power production. The plant started commercial operations on December 31, 2014, but was shut down for maintenance from June 24 of last year. Source: Economic Times

The center approved the fitting of rooftop solar energy panels on 10,000 houses belonging to poor inhabitants of Tamil Nadu, at an estimated cost of $37 million. Source: The Hindu

Nothing critical to report.


Uttar Pradesh has become the first non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state to sign up for the central government power reform plan, the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana. The state will now be able to restructure the debt of its five public sector power utilities, which totals $7.83 billion. Source: Business Standard

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who also holds the finance portfolio, will present the 2016-17 State Budget on February 12. The next session of the legislature will begin on February 8. Source: Indian Express

Essel Infraprojects has completed a 50 MW solar power project in Jalaun district. The project, spanning 250 acres of land, is expected to generate 85 million units of power per year. Source: Economic Times


Nothing critical to report.


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