Update on India’s States: February 6, 2019

Gujarat releases a new land policy to set up wind parks and wind-solar hybrid parks in the state; Rajasthan announces unemployment allowances for jobless youth in the state; Punjab outlines plan to provide homeless people in rural areas of the state with land plots; Odisha releases a new Handicrafts Policy; Karnataka proceeds with plans to implement a quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the promotion of civil servants in the state, overruling the advice of the Supreme Court; and more.

Center – State relations

A high-level committee headed by the Home Minister Rajnath Singh approved the transfer of $1 billion from the National Disaster Relief Fund to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, as well as the Union Territory (UT) of Puducherry to alleviate floods, droughts, and cyclone damage.Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Bihar government approved a plan to establish five hotspots in each gram-panchayat, or village council, to provide facilities of high-speed internet in each village. Source: Times of India

The Bihar cabinet approved a decision to reserve 10 percent of government jobs and seats at universities for economically weaker sections of the general category, or those that earn less than $11,182 per year, in the state. Source: Indian Express

In a recent order, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission announced that waste to energy generation projects in the national capital territory of Delhi will be exempted from certain open access and deviation charges. Source: Mercom In detail: DERC Order

Various hospitals in New Delhi have reported 512 cases of swine flu in the national capital region. No deaths have been reported so far. Source: Hindustan Times

The Delhi government announced it will implement the recommendation from the M.S. Swaminathan Commission’s report to implement a minimum support price program for farmers in Delhi. Source: Business Standard

The Gujarat government released a land policy for renewable energy projects, which seeks to set up wind parks and wind-solar hybrid parks in the state, similar to solar parks. Such parks will be a first by any Indian state. Source: Economic Times

Citing higher power purchase costs, the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited and Torrent Power increased fuel surcharge rates on electricity for the current quarter. Source: DNA In detail: FPPPA Charges detail

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited canceled the results of a recently-conducted auction for 700 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects in the state. According to sources, the reason provided for the cancellation was that the tariffs quoted were too high. Source: Mercom

The Gujarat government has announced a two percent increase in the dearness allowance for more than 961,000 government employees and pensioners with retrospective effect from July 1, 2018. Source: Times of India

The Haryana government approved the construction of 51 Road Over Bridges or Road Under Bridges to replace level crossings on various roads in the state, which would help reduce accidents and ensure smooth train operations. Source: Daily Pioneer

The Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency has issued a tender for 20 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects to be developed across the state. The bid-submission deadline is February 15, 2019. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

The Karnataka cabinet decided to overrule the advice of the Supreme Court and will proceed with the implementation of a 2017 act, which provides quotas for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the promotion process for civil servants in the state. Source: Financial Express

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Maharashtra government approved a pension program for senior journalists in the state. The government had earlier allocated $2 million for the implementation of such for a program. Source: News18

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot announced that jobless youth in the state will receive unemployment allowance of $49 per month for women and $42 per month for men. The Indian National Congress had promised such an unemployment allowance in its election manifesto. Source: Business Standard

Nothing critical to report this week.

Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company announced it will set up its research and development center for advanced industrial artificial intelligence at Hyderabad. The new center will add to the company’s existing footprint in India, which includes manufacturing facilities in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved the construction of the world’s longest six-lane expressway. At 372.8 miles, the highway will connect Meerut in Western Uttar Pradesh to Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad). Source: India Today

Nothing critical to report this week.

Best of the Rest

Assam

The Assam government launched a new credit-linked subsidy program for farmers, under which the government will reimburse 25 percent of the loans taken or repaid by farmers up to $350. The program will cover 400,000 farmers at a cost of $70 million to the state. Source: Economic Times

The Assam government announced new measures to provide financial relief to thousands of workers and employees under the center’s Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and National Health Mission (NHM) programs. The incentives include increasing the monthly deposit to ASHA workers from $14 to $42, as well as a pension of $42 per month for NHM employees and ASHA workers after they reach they reach the age of 60. Source: Times of India

Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel announced that the state government will waive outstanding irrigation taxes for farmers in the state. The waiver, which is worth $28.9 million, will benefit 1.5 million farmers. Source: Krishi Jagran

Goa

Government-owned company NBCC announced it will construct an Ayurveda and naturopathy hospital in Goa at a cost of $37.4 million. Source: Times Now

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar presented the state’s budget for 2019-20. The budget allocates additional funds for agriculture, education, health, and infrastructure development programs in the state. Source: Time of India

The Goa government announced the establishment of a a special court for cases related to illegal mining in the state after receiving several police complaints. Source: Business Standard

Kerala

The Kerala government introduced its budget for 2019-2020 in the state’s legislative assembly. The budget allocates funds for a proposed high-speed railway line from Trivandrum to Kasaragod, as well as additional funds for the StartUp Youth program, the state’s industrial parks, and for the StartUp Innovation Zone program to boost the state’s start-up ecosystem. Source: Business Standard

Nagaland

The Nagaland cabinet, which has the authority to approve or reject the implementation of the center’s laws under Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India, has rejected the Citizenship Amendment Bill following pressure from various tribal organizations and student bodies in the state. Source: NDTV

Odisha

The Odisha government released its Handicrafts Policy 2019. The objective of the policy is to empower handicraft artisans and make them lead partners in the development. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Odisha approved five rural drinking water projects in six districts worth $447.3 million in order to provide safe drinking water to rural households in the State. Source: Odisha Sun Times In detail: Project approvals for projects in the districts of Bhadrak, Keonjhar, Angul, and Korda and Dhenkanal 

Following the success of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) program, which provides financial assistance to small farmers, cultivators, and landless agricultural labourers in the state, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced the launch of the ‘KALIA Chhatra Bruti’ program. This new program will provide scholarships to the children of KALIA beneficiaries for higher education. Source: Odisha Sun Times

Punjab

The Punjab government outlined a plan to provide 132,000 plots of five marla (or 1/160th of an acre) each to homeless people in rural areas of the state. Source: NDTV In detail: Press Release

In order to enable potato growers to sell their produce out of the state, the Punjab government announced a decision to allocate $698,920 to provide freight subsidies to potato growers in the state. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

The Punjab government announced it is removing a ceiling of 3,000 kilo-watt hours, or units, on electricity consumption for consumers from scheduled castes, backward classes, and from families below the poverty line. The decision would allow them to consume 200 units of power per month free of cost at a cost of $22.7 million to the state. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Punjab cabinet announced a decision to double the fee for the registration of documents from $2.80 to $5.60. The cabinet also increased the fee for registering powers of attorney from $28 to $56. Source: Times of India

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