Andhra Pradesh stops development of coal-fired power plants; Tamil Nadu to connect 12,000 villages to the internet; Gujarat caps private school fees; Haryana goes “kerosene free”; Walmart expands in Telangana; and more.
Although the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 comes into effect May 1, only seven states have adopted the regulations necessary to put the law into effect, while eight others have published draft rules. Twenty other states and union territories have made no public movement on the issue. The act was designed to increase protections for buyers in the sector. Source: Business Standard
Goods and Services Tax Tracker: Five states, Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, have passed their version of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). All 29 states must pass their own version of the law for the tax to become effective nation-wide.
Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu will make an eight-day visit to the United States beginning May 4. Naidu will meet with hundreds of CEOs and will sign sister state agreements with California, Iowa, and Illinois. Source: Times of India
Andhra Pradesh has decided to ban development of new thermal power plants until at least 2022 in an attempt to foster development of renewable options. Andhra Pradesh already has 1,867 megawatts (MW) of renewable power generating capacity. Source: New Indian Express
The state government will partner with the British Council to launch a pilot program to improve the soft skills and employability of 100,000 college students in the state. The pilot project will use in-person and online training to improve students’ spoken English communication, confidence, CV/resume writing skills, and preparation for interviews. Each participant will receive a total of 150 hours of training. Source: Economic Times
United Shipbuilding Corporation, a leading Russian shipbuilding firm, has asked the state government to allot land for a greenfield shipyard in the Visakhapatnam area. The shipyard would be used to build ships for the Indian Navy. Source: The Hindu
The Bihar cabinet approved the “Bihar Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017,” giving effect to the central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. The rules define how developers can measure apartment size and limit the size of initial deposits. Source: Financial Express
The Bharatiya Janata Party won a third straight term in control of Delhi’s three municipal corporations. The party won 182 of the 272 wards up for election. The Aam Aadmi Party, which controls Delhi’s legislative assembly, saw its vote share drop to 26 percent from the 54 percent it won in the 2015 assembly elections. Source: NDTV
Roughly 600 employees working at the soon-to-be-closed General Motors plant at Halol who will not be relocated to the company’s Maharashtra plant will participate in a protest against the closure plans. Source: Times of India
Gujarat issued rules putting into effect the Gujarat Self Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017. The rules cap fees charged by private schools at $234 to $420 per year, depending on the level. The rules also create four regulatory committees with the power to authorize higher rates upon request by the school and to enforce the fee limits. Source: Telegraph India
Talks between Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group and the Haryana government are deadlocked over the question of the state’s share in Dalian’s planned $10 billion investment in industrial parks, ‘townships,’ and shopping malls. Dalian wants to limit the state’s ownership stake to 9 percent, while Haryana wants a 26 percent share in return for providing the land for the project. Source: Economic Times
As of April 1, Haryana no longer distributes kerosene through the Public Distribution System, instead encouraging households to switch to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The state had connected 273,000 households to the LPG grid free of charge by the end of March 2017 and has budgeted $3 million to connect the remaining households. Source: Indian Express
The Karnataka government will invest $1.5 million in agriculture innovation start-ups and will also help to connect start-ups with investors. Start-ups receiving government funding will be announced in May. Source: Economic Times
Residents of Karnataka are more likely to face corruption in accessing public services than Indians in any other large state, according to a survey of 20 states by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS). CMS reported that 77 percent of Karnataka residents reported facing corruption when accessing public services, followed closely by Andhra Pradesh (74 percent). Source: Business Standard
Madhya Pradesh inaugurated its first rooftop solar plant with net metering capability. The 1.97 kilowatt capacity plant is located on the roof of a private home in Indore. Source: Free Press Journal
Maharashtra has decided not to grant an additional ‘special’ government subsidy to agricultural electricity consumers, meaning that such consumers could see a 100 percent rise in their electricity bills this year. The government will still provide the standard subsidy of about 3 cents per unit to metered customers. Source: Economic Times
Sweden’s deputy minister for climate Eva Svedling visited Maharashtra to discuss possible bilateral collaboration on climate change, waste management, smart cities, and renewable energy. She met with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state environment minister Ramdas Kadam. Source: Business Standard
The state government has asked four private banks to equip more than 50,000 state-run ‘fair price shops’ with ATMs. Local residents will be able to use the ATMS to open a bank account, make deposits and withdrawals, and transfer funds. The initiative is mean to bring banking facilities to underserved areas. Source: Economic Times
Rajasthan has installed more LED streetlights (700,000) than any other state. The nation overall has replaced 2.1 million conventional street lights with LEDs, resulting in annual energy savings of 295 million units. Andhra Pradesh came second with 586,000 LED streetlights. Source: Economic Times
Tamil Nadu will allow affordable housing developments to take advantage of higher floor space indices (FSI, the ratio of a building’s total floor area to its plot). Depending on the size and price of apartments, affordable housing units can have FSIs from 15 to 50 percent higher than the norm. Source: Times of India
The state government entered into an agreement with Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) to implement the national rural internet connectivity programme, ‘BharatNet.’ The network will connect 12,524 village councils in Tamil Nadu to the internet, allowing residents to access government services online. Source: Indian Express
Walmart has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Telangana government to set up 10 wholesale outlets in the State within next five years. The company plans to set up five stores in Hyderabad and the rest in other major cities and towns. Walmart’s investment in the new stores will be roughly $120 million. Source: Telangana Today
The Telangana Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council amended the state’s 2016 law on land acquisition in response to feedback from the Union Ministry of Law and Justice. The amendments are minor and do not change the original purpose of the law, which was to allow the state to use eminent domain to acquire land necessary for infrastructure projects. Source: Hindu Business Line
Nothing critical to report this week.
Nothing critical to report this week.
Best of the Rest
Kerala has launched a $140 million scheme to help students from families with annual incomes of less than $9360 repay their student loans. Kerala students and their families owe $1.59 billion in student loans; nearly 13 percent of them are in default. Depending on the size of the loan, the state will cover as much as 90 percent of payments in the first year of the program. Source: Livemint
Tripura inaugurated northeast India’s sixth and largest IT hub at Agartala. Built at a cost of $7.76 million, the facility includes incubation space for start-ups. Source: Business Standard