Update on India’s States: July 3, 2018

State power ministers meet in Shimla for stocktake of power sector development progress; EDF and General Electric sign agreement to jointly build six reactors for India’s 9,900 MW nuclear power plant in Maharashtra; the center extends the operation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Nagaland for six months; Punjab cabinet approves disinvestment of three loss-making public-sector units; Karnataka’s main power distribution company asks 110 renewable energy developers to pay transmission charges; and more.

Center – State relations

The center has announced a simplified process to approve additional borrowing by states above the current limit of 3 percent of their fiscal deficit limit. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Finance Ministry approved, “in-principle,” five proposed metro projects in Indore, Bhopal, Kanpur, Agra, and Delhi, as well as a proposed Rapid Rail Transit System between Delhi and Meerut. Source: Hindustan Times

The center approved additional assistance of nearly $56.8 million from the National Disaster Response Fund to Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland, which were affected by natural calamities during 2017-18. Source: Business World

State power ministers met in Shimla on July 3 to monitor and expedite progress of the center’s flagship projects to ensure they meet deadlines on all reforms on the agenda. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Walmart Foundation announced a $2 million grant for a two-year agriculture project that would improve market access for over 6,000 farmers in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Money Control

The Andhra Pradesh state government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Flextronics Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd., to set up a greenfield manufacturing facility at Sri City near Tirupati with an investment of $85 million. The facility is expected to create 6,600 jobs. Source: First Post

India’s state-run power giant NTPC completed its acquisition of Nabinagar Power Generating Company (Pvt) Ltd and Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Ltd after it acquired the equity stake of Bihar State Power Generation Company Ltd in both firms. Source: Money Control

Power distribution company BYPL has signed an MOU with Business Finland, a Finnish government agency, to collaborate on areas such as energy efficiency and electric vehicles. Source: Millennium Post In detail: Press Release

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has announced a second tender for 500 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed across the state in order to fulfill its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). A second tender was announced after the previous tender was scrapped in April 2018. Source: Mercom In detail: GUVNL Tender

The state government of Gujarat signed an MOU with Israeli security solutions firm mPrest to undertake a gap analysis study in developing a modern, smart, and state-of-the-art city in Gujarat. Source: Business Standard In detail: Gujarat CMO Press Release

Haryana’s chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, approved the installation of 1 million smart meters in five districts of the state. As part of the implementation, an MOU between Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and Haryana Power Distribution Utilities will be signed soon. Source: Economic Times

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar also approved the establishment of a special purpose vehicle – Haryana International Horticultural Marketing Corporation Limited (HIHMCL) – to set up a market of international standards for handling of fruits, vegetables and other perishables. Source: Economic Times

The Haryana government decided to reduce value added tax rate on sale of aviation turbine fuel to 1 percent from 20 percent at airports specified under the regional connectivity scheme. Source: NDTV

Karnataka government appointed TM Vijay Bhaskar as the new chief secretary of Karnataka. Source: Times of India

Karnataka’s main power distribution company has asked 110 renewable energy developers to pay transmission charges after a legal challenge to Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission’s order requiring the payment was stayed by the Karnataka High Court. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

French utility EDF and General Electric have signed an agreement to jointly build six reactors for India’s 9,900 MW nuclear power plant being built by India’s state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India at Jaitapur, Maharashtra. Source: Economic Times

The Maharashtra state cabinet approved a proposal to remove a restriction that limited municipal commissioners from approving proposals over a limit of $36,470 without approval from a standing committee in a bid to to dilute powers of the standing committees and vest more powers to the municipal commissioners in the state. Source: Times of India

The Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department of the state government of Maharashtra signed an MOU with ride-sharing company Ola to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in the state. Source: Financial Express

Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed an MOU to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Source: Zee Business

As part of the Maharashtra Start-up week, the state government signed letters of intent with 24 start-ups for work orders worth $28,890 in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, defense, and the environment. Source: The Hindu

Starting July 1, the government of Maharashtra will provide free chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients in Gadchiroli, Amravati, and Jalgaon. Source: Financial Express

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) released draft plans to allow educational institutions to set up solar energy plants with capacities of 1-5 MW each. Source: The Hindu In detail: TEDA draft plan

The Tamil Nadu state government released its Ecotourism Policy 2017, which emphasizes the active involvement of local communities for their empowerment and socio-economic improvement. Source: Money Control In detail: Tamil Nadu Ecotourism Policy-2017

The state assembly unanimously adopted a special resolution urging the center to keep the Dam Safety Bill, 2018, in suspension until the concerns raised over the legislation by Tamil Nadu and other states are addressed. Source: The Hindu In detail: Press Release of Original Announcement of Bill

Two power distribution companies in Telangana have said that while they began installing prepaid energy meters in over 56,000 government offices, they will not be able to expand availability of such prepaid meters to other consumers until the center chips in with financial assistance. Source: The Hindu

The United States Pharmacopeia has joined hands with the Telangana government to set up a training institute to help prepare university graduates and pharmaceutical professionals. Source: Business Standard

The Centre for Science and Environment released a report titled ”Mini-grids in Uttar Pradesh – Policy Lessons,” noting that 14.2 million households are living without electricity connections in rural Uttar Pradesh, and outlining a strong case for mini-grid development in the state over the next 5-10 years. Source: Centre for Science and Environment In detail: Mini-Grids in Uttar Pradesh: Policy Lessons

The Uttar Pradesh state government has waived a rule that acquisition of “gram sabha” land owned by the state government must be bought at four times the prevailing market value, relaxing the rule to allow land purchases at the prevailing market rates. Source: Business Standard

The state government of West Bengal released a report highlighting the government’s achievements over the past seven years, outlining that the state’s index of industrial production jumped from 2.2 percent in 2011-2012 to 7.9 percent in 2017-18, compared to 2.2 percent in 2011-12, and that the annual export value from Bengal grew 16 percent from $7.11 billion to $8.25 billion in FY17. Source: Financial Express In detail: Chronicles of Bengal’s Progress

The state government of West Bengal decided to develop nearly 2,600 deposit-mobilizing Primary Agriculture Cooperative Sector (PACS) as customer service points, aimed to extend banking services in rural areas. Source: Financial Express

Best of the Rest

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has inaugurated the 6 MW Shaikangchu small hydroelectric project at Gongkhar village, which is the biggest project undertaken by the department of hydropower in the state.  Source: Business Standard

Kerala

The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute will implement $2.1 million project to help fish farmers launch 500 cage farming units in Kerala in an effort to increase the domestic fish production in the state. Source: Economic Times

The National Thermal Power Corporation has tendered a 22 MW grid-connected floating solar photovoltaic (PV) project to be developed at Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant Kayamkulam in Kerala. Source: Mercom

Japanese automotive firm Nissan Motor Company signed an MOU with the state government to set up a Digital Innovation Hub in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram. Source: The Hindu

Mizoram

The Mizoram State Legislative Assembly passed the Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) Bill to replace the existing Sinlung Hills Development Council with the SHC. Source: Morung Express

Nagaland

The center extended the operation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in Nagaland as a “disturbed area” for six months. Source: Times of India In detail: Gazette Notification

Odisha

Odisha is cracking down on frivolous thermal power producers by reclaiming land from developers of failed power projects. Several independent power producers have backed out of projects in Odisha due to weak power demand, lack of coal block or firm linkages, delay in land acquisition, and difficulty in raising credit. Source: Business Standard

The Odisha government signed an MOU with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System  to enhance early warning systems for effective disaster management. Source: Business Standard

Puducherry

Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, who holds the finance portfolio, presented a tax-free $1.09 billion budget for the financial year 2018-19. Source: Times of India

Punjab

The cabinet of the state government of Punjab approved disinvestment of three loss-making public-sector units — Punjab Communications Limited (Puncom), Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC), and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC). Source: Hindustan Times

The Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) in association with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), has launched a first of its kind “Secondary Agriculture/Food Processing Entrepreneurial Network” in Punjab. Source: Hindustan Times
Tripura

Tripura deputy chief minister Jishnu Dev Varma presented a deficit-free budget of $2.4 billion for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Source: India Today

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