Update on India’s States: July 27, 2016

Gujarat may follow Kerala’s lead in establishing a ‘fat tax,’ Haryana to allow male government employees to take paternity leave, Mamata Banerjee to visit Germany and Italy in November, Ford Motor Company to set up its first overseas research and development center in Tamil Nadu, Telangana partners with Cisco systems and Mtuity to develop Hyderabad as a Smart City, West Bengal changes land policy to allow state government to directly purchase land for state and central government projects.

Center–State relations

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) organized a State Startup Conference on July 23. The objective was for states to discuss progress, policies and good practices adopted for incentivizing and supporting startup culture in their respective states. Telangana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, and Karnataka presented initiatives they have undertaken to promote startups. Source: Business Standard In Detail: Press Release

The central government is planning on taking over the process of procurement of electrical and power equipment from state governments in order to allow a more uniform process of procurement. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh came out strongly against this plan. Source: Business Standard

The central government has urged all states to remove all local taxes on essential food items, like pulses and edible oils, to ensure these supplies are provided to consumers at affordable prices. Source: Economic Times

All states have been asked by the center to reduce stamp duty on registration of houses as an incentive to boost the affordable housing projects across the country. Source: Economic Times

The Andhra Pradesh government has signed seven memoranda of understanding worth $3.4 billion with Malaysian companies during the India Business Council Leaders’ Summit hosted by the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN). The investments will be made in sectors such as water treatment, clean energy, and housing projects. Source: The Hans India

A delegation of Ukrainian business leaders is in talks with state government to set up an aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul facility in collaboration with Telangana-based Titan Group. This project will require an expected investment of $446 million. Source: Economic Times

India’s lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, has passed a bill that allows the establishment of a National Institute of Technology in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Indian Express

The state government will be launching 100 new governance centers (MeeSeva centers) in local government areas (panchayats) to provide essential public service to villages. Source: Times of India

Andhra Pradesh Government will issue letters of intent to five private universities, inviting them to set up their campuses in the state. Source: Zee News

Across all states, Bihar has the highest number of households without electricity connections. The percentage of urban and rural households in Bihar without power connection stands at 33 percent and 87 percent respectively. Source: Business Standard

Delhi’s transport department will be instituting an online system to provide all transport-related services. Services like issuing permits, fitness certificates, registration of new vehicles will be available on the online system. Source: NDTV

The Gujarat government may be considering introducing a 14.5 percent ‘fat tax,’ on food like burgers and pizzas sold in restaurant chains, that was first adopted by Kerala recently. Source: Times of India

The Dalit community in Gujarat has resorted to violent protests demanding stern actions against the cow vigilante groups, which were involved in flogging of Dalits in the city of Una. There have been reports of bus burnings, and highway blockades. Source: The Hindu

The Haryana government welcomed two new members to its cabinet, the second expansion within the last year. Source: The Hindu

The Haryana government has decided to ban 10-year old diesel vehicles and 15-year old petrol vehicles from roads within Haryana’s territory in the national capital region. Source: Economic Times

Haryana has repealed the Punjab Civil Services rules to now allow all male government employees to take paternity leave for 15 days. Source: NDTV

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved a proposal to launch a program to provide loans to groups of farmers that grow fruits and vegetables. The program is meant to help farmers increase production, and be able to finance processing and marketing of their products for higher profits. Source: Economic Times

The state government has decided to cease subsidies for construction toilets in the state but will offer incentives for village panchayats and municipal corporations for the upkeep of existing sanitation infrastructure. Source: Times of India

Haryana will build a state-of-the-art cyber forensic laboratory at the premises of the Gurugram office of the Haryana Police. The facility will include high-end equipment and space for advance level police training that will be open to police forces from other states as well. Source: Times of India

The Karnataka government has approved new guidelines to allow for early release for prisoners in life sentence based on good conduct, after 14 years of actual imprisonment without remission. Source: Hindustan Times

Over 100,000 employees of four state road transport corporations went on an indefinite strike. The employees have a list of 41 demands, primarily focused on a 35 percent hike in their wages compared to the 10 percent that the state government has offered. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Karnataka government is expected to make it mandatory for public gas stations and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) retail outlets in urban areas to obtain no objection certificates from oil marketing companies, in the case they want to switch businesses. Private retail outlets will be exempt from this rule. Source: Business Insider

Congress performed well in local government elections, winning more seats than the ruling BJP on three municipal councils. Source: Business Standard

Suzlon Group has won an order for a 59 megawatt (MW) wind power project in the Dewas district. Suzlong will erect 28 hybrid towers with a capacity of 2.1 MW each by March 2017. Source: Economic Times In Detail: Press release

The Madhya Pradesh Trade and Investment Facilitation Corporation signed an agreement with the Confederation of Indian Industry to lead the state’s investment promotion efforts. Source: Business Standard

The Maharashtra cabinet approved plans for a Maharashtra Information Technology Corporation that will take charge of all the state’s IT-based applications and infrastructure. Previously each department was responsible for implementing its own e-governance initiatives. Source: Hindustan Times

The state government is seeking to amend the Maharashtra State Highway Bill to allow for a land pooling model of land acquisition, which it plans to use to build the 440 mile Nagpur-Mumbai Supercommunication Expressway. The land pooling model allows owners and tenants to sign over their rights to the land to a state government agency responsible for building the highway. Source: Indian Express

The state government has tabled a supplementary expenditure request of over $2 billion in legislative assembly. The additional request reflects unplanned expenditure and also the cost of implementing central schemes, including the Housing for All program. Source: Times of India

According to the Reserve Bank of India, Maharashtra has an outstanding debt of $56 billion, highest across the country. Source: Times of India

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded a $72 million contract for widening the Salasar-Nagaur section of National Highway 65 in Rajasthan. Source: Economic Times

Rajasthan the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry will hold the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet in Jaipur in November 2016. The three-day event is meant to promote sustainable development in agriculture and allied sectors by disseminating technological innovations and high-yield techniques. Source: Business Standard

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Paneerselvam presented the full budget for fiscal year 2016-17. The full budget revises the state’s revenue deficit estimates upwards to $2.15 billion, compared to the interim budget’s estimate of $1.24 billion. The fiscal deficit is also now expected to rise, to $5.5 billion, as against the earlier projection of $4.1 billion. There are no new tax proposals in the revised budget. The budget speech also included plans to amend the state’s Agricultural Produce Marketing (Regulation) Act to merge agricultural and commodity markets. Source: Business Standard, Source: Hindu Business Line

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa met with German Ambassador to India Martin Ney, to discuss German investment in the state. Tamil Nadu receives more development funds from German development bank KfW than any other state. Source: Economic Times

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the first green train corridor between Rameswaram and Manamadurai. Trains running along the corridor will use bio-toilets to achieve zero discharge of human waste. Source: Business Standard

Ford Motor Company is in the process of setting up a research and development center outside Chennai, the first such facility to be located outside of the US. Source: Economic Times

Telangana has partnered with Cisco Systems and Mtuity to develop a ‘Smart City’ plan for Hyderabad by identifying relevant technology interventions. Source: Times of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and for a revived fertilizer plant, both in Gorakhpur. Source: Business World, Economic Times In Detail: Press Release

The Mamata Banerjee government has changed its land acquisition policy to allow the state government to directly purchase land for state and central government projects. Direct acquisition will be done on a case-by-case basis, but could provide a boost to projects that have been stalled due to land acquisition issues. Source: Business Standard

West Bengal has established Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC) in two districts of the state. The clusters will cover 128 acres in total. Source: Millennium Post

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will make a four-day visit to Italy and Germany in September to discuss business and investment opportunities. She will meet with the Mayor of Rome, among other officials. Source: Indian Express

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has commissioned the third unit of the 4×40 MW Teesta Low Dam hydroelectric project stage-IV in West Bengal. Source: Economic Times


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