Update on India’s States: February 8, 2017

Goa and Punjab go to the polls; Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh are big winners in the annual railway ministry budget; Haryana inaugurates a single-window system for industrial clearances and raises its electricity taxes; Karnataka can now track every student in the state in a single database; Sasikala set to become Tamil Nadu’s next chief minister; Telangana opens a rural incubator to tackle social problems; and more.

Center–State relations

The Indian government and the World Bank signed a financing agreement for $200 million to fund the ‘Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme,’ an effort to enhance the quality and efficiency of India’s engineering education system. The program will focus on engineering education in 15 states as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Source: Business Standard In Detail: Press Release

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the opening of two new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in Jharkhand and Gujarat. Source: Indian Express

The central Ministry of Urban Development approved investments in urban infrastructure in six states over the next three financial years under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation. A total investment of $426 million (50 percent central assistance) has been cleared for 42 cities in Karnataka, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Puducherry. Source: New Indian Express

The center approved an investment of $200 million to Andhra Pradesh for improvement of basic urban infrastructure under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) over the next three fiscal years. The Union Urban Development Ministry also approved $60 million in support of investments in projects for augmenting water supply, sewerage networks, drainage and provision of parks and open spaces in 32 Atal Mission cities in the southern state. Source: Economic Times

The ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet’ held January 27-28 produced major investment pledges, particularly in the energy sector. Mytrah Energy said it has signed pacts for 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable power projects (half solar and half wind) worth $2 billion. Kakinada SEZ Ltd. signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth $7 billion with firms interested in opening units at the Kakinada Special Enterprise Zone, including public sector utilities in the oil and gas sector. Source: Economic Times, Source: Times of India

Spanish wind turbines manufacturer Gamesa has opened a new wind blade manufacturing facility in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. The facility will manufacture blades for Gamesa’s G114-2.0 MW class S turbine, which are custom-built for the Indian market. Source: Energy Business Times


Bihar has gained considerably in the allocation for railways in the first integrated Union budget tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. From $472 million in 2016-17, the allocation for Bihar has been increased to $550 million in the upcoming fiscal year, an increase of 16.56 percent. Source: Hindustan Times


Nothing critical to report this week.


Gujarat governor OP Kohli cleared the Gujarat State Higher Education Council Bill 2016. The bill seeks to curtail the authority of vice-chancellors and will bring all the state’s universities under the purview of a Higher Education Council, chaired by the chief minister. Source: Indian Express


Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated the Haryana Entrepreneur Promotion Centre (HEPC), a nodal agency for granting clearances to new enterprises. Entrepreneurs choosing to set up industrial units in Haryana can now get all necessary certificates from HEPC. Clearance committees in each district will be empowered to give approvals or clearances for projects of up to $1.5 million or for change of land use for land of less than one acre. Source: Tribune India

Haryana has increased the municipal electricity tax from .07 cents per unit to 2 percent of the total power bill. The move is meant to improve the financial health of the state’s utilities. Source: Tribune India

The Haryana government approved a proposal by the industries and commerce department to set up a Mass Rapid Transport System between Gurgaon and Manesar. The state will act as guarantor for a loan of $130 million from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited to purchase 365 acres of land for the project. Source: Times of India

The state cabinet approved a policy on the purchase of land voluntarily offered to the government. In an attempt to avoid social unrest surrounding the land acquisition process, Haryana has decided to create a “land bank” by buying land from those farmers who wish to sell their land for future projects. Source: Indian Express


Apple India Pvt. Ltd held opening discussion with the Karnataka government over the possibility that the company will begin manufacturing Apple products at the Peenya Industrial Area outside Bengaluru. No agreement or MOU has so far been finalised with the Karnataka government. Source: Reuters

Karnataka is partnering with the National Aerospace Laboratories and MS Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences to set up the Karnataka Aerospace Technology Innovation Centre. The center is a first attempt to bring industry and academia together in the aerospace sector in Karnataka, which faces stiff competition from neighboring states. Source: Economic Times

The Rural Electrification Corporation, Karnataka Power Corporation (KPCL), and Bangalore Electricity Supply Corporation (BESCOM) signed an MOU for financial assistance of $5.8 billion to Karnataka power utilities over the next five years. KPCL can draw on financing of $4 billion for generation projects, and other loan requirements, while BESCOM can access $1.8 billion for implementation of distribution projects. Source: Sarkaritel

Karnataka has finished building a single digital database that can track each of the 11.6 million Class I through X students in the state, including those in private schools. Each student will be assigned a nine-digit ID number that will travel with the student as he or she changes schools, allowing for improved tracking of educational outcomes as well as digital transfer of certificates. Source: Economic Times


Madhya Pradesh cabinet approved $506 million for repair and improvement of major roads by the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation. Nearly 60 roads totalling about 930 miles will be repaired over the next four years. The state will fund 70 percent of the project cost through loans. Source: Times of India

Madhya Pradesh’s railways received an allocation of $800 million in the Union Budget. More than half of the funds will go towards the West Central Railway, Jabalpur. Source: Times of India

In an effort to boost development through road connectivity, the central government has approved two major expressways, the Chambal and Narmada Expressways, that will connect Madhya Pradesh with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat. Source: Times of India


Following the center, the Maharashtra government has decided to do away with the distinction between plan and non-plan expenditure in its budget for fiscal year 2017-18. Source: Indian Express

The Union Budget earmarked $4.65 billion in funds for construction of at least 7 new railway lines in Maharashtra, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Panvel fast elevated corridor. These seven new lines will be a total of 1,940 miles long. Source: Economic Times

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd has launched a drive to hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues from over 60,000 consumers in the Aurangabad area who have not made payments for the past three months. The company has disconnected over 600 connections since February 1, when the drive was launched. Source: Economic Times


The total outlay on railways in Rajasthan rose from $367 million in 2016-17 to $520 million for the 2017-18 coming fiscal year. Source: Times of India


All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary V.K. Sasikala was elected as the leader of the Legislature Party by the members of the Legislative Assembly, paving the way for her swearing in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu on February 9. Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam has sent his resignation to the governor. Source: The Hindu

The state power utility, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco), will set up its first-ever 800MW thermal power plant with financial assistance from the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The REC will loan Tangedco $1.02 billion to set up the power plant and two substations in and around Chennai. Source: Times of India

With $339 million allocated to railways in Tamil Nadu in the budget, the focus will be on passenger safety, redevelopment of stations, cleanliness and making stations more accessible. Source: Deccan Chronicle


The Telangana government has launched a social innovation center, the ‘Kakatiya Hub For Social Innovation’ in Nizamabad. The hub will function as a rural incubator to encourage entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. Source: Hindu Business Line

Outlay for railways in Telangana saw a jump in the latest Union Budget. The outlay for Telangana is $257 million against an average of $90 million over the last two years. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh received an allocation of $507 million compared to the average of $326.5 million allocated over the last two years. Source: Business Standard


Poll-bound Uttar Pradesh received $1.05 billion in railway expenditure in the new Union Budget — the highest allocation of any state. Railway spending in the state in the upcoming fiscal year will more than double the average of the last two years. Source: Indian Express


The West Bengal government raised the allowances of several local government officials and announced honoraria for some rural government officials who had not previously received them. District council members will receive $22.30 per month and district council presidents will be paid per month. Source: NewsX

West Bengal also benefited from higher railway spending for the upcoming financial year, receiving an allocation of $943 million as compared to $568 million in the previous year. Source: Asian age

Best of the Rest

Goa

Goa’s voters turned out in record numbers for the state’s legislative assembly elections, with turnout reaching 83 percent of registered voters, .8 percent higher than in 2012. Each constituency had a special pink polling station, managed entirely by women, which handed out gifts to first-time voters. Source: The Hindu

Punjab

Punjab registered its highest ever election turnout as 78.6 percent of the 19.8 million eligible residents voted in elections for the state’s legislative assembly. Turnout was slightly higher than in the 2012 Assembly polls. The state has been the site of a hard-fought contest between the Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition, and the newcomer Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Source: Indian Express

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