Update on India’s States: January 29, 2020

Gujarat tops SKOCH state of governance rankings 2019; Haryana approves installation of 10,000 smart electricity meters; Maharashtra approves “Mumbai 24 hour policy”; Kuwait’s Al Kharafi makes $6.8 billion investment in Tamil Nadu; New excise policy in Uttar Pradesh; Communication blockade ends in Jammu and Kashmir; Kerala gets first Super Fab Lab, Meghalaya gets first PRIME start-up hub; Uttarakhand removes hurdles to leasing land; and more

Center – State relations

To speed up gas infrastructure activities in the states, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas has prepared a draft policy for city-gas distribution (CGD), which the government expects will be a template for every state to come up with their own CGD policies. Source: Financial Express In detail: Draft Policy

The Union Cabinet approved $612.5 million for setting up permanent campuses for six National Institutes of Technology (NITs) that have been functioning from temporary structures after being set up in 2009, says Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. Source: The Hindu In detail: Press Release

The Andhra Pradesh cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, passed a resolution to abolish the Legislative Council. The state government has been contemplating the move since it received a setback in the upper house which opposed the three-capital cities bill and Capital Region Development Authority repeal bill. Source: Times of India

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulation Commission (APERC) has issued guidelines for feedback and grievance redressal to power distribution companies to improve accountability and transparency. APERC has directed discoms to set up complaint boxes at all offices, such that they are visible to consumers. Source: Times of India

The ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register have spread to at least 11 districts of Bihar. Source: The Hindu

The Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved ₹4.15 (~$0.06) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as the tariff to procure 2 megawatts (MW) of power from floating solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Darbhanga. The Bihar State Power Holding Company and the Bihar Renewable Energy development Agency proposed the tariff. Source: Mercom In detail: Petition

Nothing critical to report this week.

Gujarat has topped the SKOCH State of Governance 2019 ranking, which assessed 935 state level projects and programs.. Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu were the top five “Star States”, according to the report. Source: Money Control In detail: Skoch report

Chinese turbine manufacturer Envision Energy said it has commissioned two wind projects with a total capacity of 232.5 MW in Gujarat. A 197.5 MW wind power project for Actis-backed Sprng Energy and a 35 MW project for ReNew Power were awarded under Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam’s wind auctions. Source: Economic Times

The Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved expanding the network of single-point connections for colonies, commercial centres and rural areas. The installation of 10,000 prepaid smart electricity meters was also approved in urban areas to make supply and collection of revenue more effective. Source: Times of India

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nothing critical to report this week.

The government of India, the government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of $210 million aimed at supporting smallholder farmers in competitive agriculture value chains, facilitating agri-business investments, increasing market access and productivity in focus commodities, and building resilience of crops to recurrent floods or droughts in Maharashtra. Source: Devdiscourse In detail: Press Release

The Maharashtra government approved Aaditya Thackeray’s Mumbai nightlife project that proposes malls, eateries, and pubs in the city be allowed to remain open round the clock. Source:  Times Now

The Rajasthan assembly passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, becoming the third legislative assembly in the country to urge the center to repeal the law. Source: The Wire

Kuwait based Al Kharafi plans to set up an oil refinery and a petrochemical manufacturing facility at an investment of $6.8 billion in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said. Source: Economic Times

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) scored a massive win in the Urban Local Body polls. The TRS won over 100 municipalities out of 120 and all nine out of nine municipal corporations. Source: Financial Express

The Uttar Pradesh government gave its nod to the 2020-21 excise policy. The license fee for domestic liquor in Uttar Pradesh has been increased by 10 percent, for beer by 15 percent and for foreign liquor by 20 percent. Source: NDTV In detail: Excise Policy terms for 2020-21 (In Hindi)

The West Bengal budget session for 2020-21 will commence on February 7, a senior official at the state secretariat said. Source: New Indian Express

The West Bengal government introduced a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state assembly, becoming the fourth state administration to do so since the law was passed in December. Source: India Today

Best of the Rest

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued tariffs for solar PV projects for the last six months of the financial year 2019-20. The proposed tariff will be applicable only for small capacities up to 5 MW. Source: Mercom In detail: Tariff details

Jammu and Kashmir

After more than five months of communication blockade, mobile internet and broadband services were restored in Kashmir on January 25. Services had been restricted since August 5, after the withdrawal of the special status of the erstwhile state. Source: ABP

The government will set up 50-bedded hospitals in every district of the newly created union territory at a cost of $1.6 million each, Union Minister Shripad Nayak said. Source: NDTV

The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has sanctioned a development package of $11.2 billion for Jammu and Kashmir., The package is allowing development of highways, power generation and irrigation projects. Source: Business Standard

Kerala

Kerala has announced a draft policy on plantations to strengthen the sector and improve the living and service conditions of workers. The policy envisages augmenting manufacturing, diversification, processing, marketing and preserving value-based plantation products. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The country’s first Super Fab Lab, which will give a major push to the hardware industry in the country and is the only such facility outside the United States, was launched at the Integrated Startup Complex of the Kerala Startup Mission. The Super Fab Lab will function in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Source: Economic Times

Meghalaya

Meghalaya got its first PRIME (Promotion of Innovative and Market-Driven Enterprises) start-up hub where 100 entrepreneurs will receive incubation support and mentoring for one year. The day also witnessed the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship and Start-up Summit 2020. Source: The Telegraph

Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma announced sixteen mini power projects with a total generating capacity of 1,637 MW are being commissioned in Meghalaya to make the state self-reliant in electricity. Source: Economic Times

The Meghalaya assembly ratified a bill to extend reservation to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for another 10 years. Source: Eastern Mirror 

Punjab

The Punjab health department plans to invite private players to set up diagnostic facilities inside civil hospitals. According to a policy being finalized by the department, tenders will be floated for private players to set up diagnostic centers to be run under public private partnerships. Source: Hindustan Times

An all-party meeting called for a new tribunal to assess river water availability in Punjab, in an apparent reference to the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal project. A resolution said Punjab does not have surplus water and is facing a threat of desertification with declining availability of river water and fast depleting groundwater. Source: The Print

The Punjab Health Department has joined hands with the World Health Organization and  the central government’s Indian Council of Medical Research and Vital Strategies Organisation for early identification and treatment of patients suffering from hypertension. Source: Daily Pioneer

Sikkim

State-run hydro power giant NHPC has emerged as the successful bidder for insolvency-bound Jal Power Corporation’s 120 MW Rangit project in Sikkim with a bid of $23 million. Source: Economic Times

Tripura

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation , the country’s largest petroleum explorer, plans to invest $448.3 million to drill around 115 wells across eight oil and gas fields in Tripura. Source: Economic Times

The state revenue department has started a survey in six Bru camps in the North Tripura district of the state to prepare a list of beneficiaries who will be settled permanently in Tripura. Source: East Mojo

Uttarakhand

All the hurdles to leasing agricultural land have been removed in Uttarakhand. A register will be maintained for government land and tenders will be issued for lease. Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to adopt such a policy. Source: Outlook India

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