Update on India’s States: July 12, 2017


Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are walking back their solar policies; renewed upheaval in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly; Tata Power and MIT test solar microgrids in Bihar; and more.

Center–State relations

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nothing critical to report this week.


Tata Power Delhi Distribution plans to test solar microgrids in Baishali district of Bihar. The company, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, General Electric, and Tata Trust, is exploring whether the microgrids are a viable business model for distributed electricity generation and distribution in remote areas. Source: Economic Times


New Delhi launched a scheme that allows residents in need of any of 52 surgeries to have the procedures performed free of charge at private hospitals if the wait at public hospitals is more than one month. The city government will cover the cost of privately-performed surgeries. Source: Hindustan Times


SAIC Motor Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government and General Motors India for the transfer of land at the former GM manufacturing unit at Halol. SAIC, a China-based joint venture partner of GM, has committed to making investments worth at least $300 million in the Halol plant. Source: Business Standard

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a $329 million loan to build access roads to 4,000 villages in Gujarat. Source: Money control


Nothing critical to report this week.


President Pranab Mukherjee cleared two long-pending state laws days before his term comes to an end on July 17. One law allows for a 24 percent reservation in government contracts for members of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The other is an ordinance that overrides animal cruelty laws to allow for buffalo races to take place in the state. Source: Economic Times

The Karnataka government will spend $61.7 million to fund 100 of the state’s most innovative start-ups and to assign them mentors who can help turn their ideas into successful businesses. The state’s ‘Elevate Programme’, aims to give promising entrepreneurs mentors, networking opportunities, and venture capital funds. Source: Business Standard

Nothing critical to report this week.

Maharashtra will retrospectively exempt state-owned Ratnagiri Gas and Power Limited, a liquid natural gas-fired power plant, from most taxes for the previous five years in an attempt to prevent the project from becoming insolvent. The plant is carrying $1.2 billion in debt. Source: New Indian Express

The Maharashtra government has earmarked $215 million for the month of July to compensate the state’s 26 municipal corporations for loss in revenue due to the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST). The GST has deprived local governments of their major sources of income, including vehicle entry tax and local body tax. Source: Times of India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the center signed off on the first tranche of a $500 million loan to upgrade 1,250 miles of Rajasthan’s highways. The first loan disbursement will be used to upgrade 620 miles of highway. Source: Money Control In Detail: Press Release

The Tamil Nadu government signed an agreement with Siemens, DesignTech, and Anna University to set up a center of excellence and five Technical Skill Development Institutes throughout the state. Students in engineering and technical fields will receive training in mechatronics, robotics, advanced manufacturing and designing. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has proposed to cap the tariff for solar power generated by roof-top plants at 50 percent of the lowest price paid to solar power generation firms and to tax power generated by rooftop solar panels. Tangedco maintains that the move is necessary to save money in the context of its high operating deficit. Source: Times of India


Nothing critical to report this week.


The Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved the Industrial Investment and Employment Policy, 2017. The policy features a single-window system for prompt clearance of all project-related approvals, 24/7 electricity, improved infrastructure, and dedicated police forces for industrial clusters. Source: Economic Times

The budget session of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly begins on Tuesday and will feature the presentation of the state government’s first annual budget. The session will conclude on July 28. Source: Hindu Business Line

The state Electricity Regulatory Commission has asked winners of a solar power auction conducted in September 2015 to voluntarily lower solar tariffs to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, the lowest price discovered in the auction. Some bidders successfully won projects with tariffs of 13 cents. Source: Economic Times


Separatists agitating for a new state for the Gorkha people torched a police outpost and a train station and clashed with the police in the Darjeeling area. The protestors claimed that two people were killed when the police fired on the crowd. With multiple episodes of rioting taking place across the state, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the creation of volunteer peace forces to work with the police to prevent violence. Source: First Post, Economic Times

Best of the Rest

Nagaland

Former chief minister TR Zeliang has claimed the right to form the government in Nagaland, asserting that he has the support of 41 of the 59 members of the Legislative Assembly. Zeliang, who was ousted as chief minister five months ago, has brought his supporters to a resort in Assam in order to preserve them as a cohesive unit. Source: Indian Express

Himachal Pradesh

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has agreed to a $91 million loan to develop two hydroelectric projects in Himachal Pradesh. The loan will finance two run-of-river hydroelectric plants in the Chanju river basin with a total capacity of 78 megawatts. Source: Economic Times

See the entire digest at Engaging Indian States.

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