Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu launch major distribution programs for energy-efficient appliances; Maharashtra waives fees for electric vehicles; ADB offers Rajasthan $500 million to improve its road network; Karnataka mandates energy-efficient pumps for those seeking new electricity connections; and more.
Goods and Services Tax Tracker: Twenty-one states — Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Goa, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Himachal Pradesh — have passed the model 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.
The state government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on improving health care outcomes in Andhra Pradesh. The focus will be on strengthening primary and secondary care as well as reducing out-of-pocket expenditure. Source: The Hindu
Nothing critical to report this week.
A month after winning two thirds of the seats in Delhi’s Municipal Corporations, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost two seats in bypolls to rivals Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party. Both seats had formerly been held by members of minor parties. Source: Economic Times
The Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation signed MoUs with businesses from Ghana, Zambia, and Mozambique during the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual meeting in Gandhinagar. The MoUs dealt with agriculture and power generation, among other topics. Gujarat also signed an MoU with the Republic of Togo to develop infrastructure, mining, and renewable power generation. Source: Times of India
The Chief Executive of China Light & Power met with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Hong Kong to discuss setting up a $77.3 million renewable energy project at Jhajjar. Khattar visited Hong Kong as part of the ‘Invest Haryana Road Show’ in East Asia. Singapore was the first stop on the trip. Source: Economic Times
The Karnataka government has launched a program to fast-track the state’s 100 most promising start-ups. The selected start-ups will receive funding, mentoring, help filing for patents, and legal assistance. Source: Hindu Business Line
Both domestic and commercial consumers seeking a new electricity connection will be required to use energy efficiency pump sets beginning June 1, 2017. The state expects the order will cut electricity consumption by 30 percent. Source: The Hindu
President Pranab Mukherjee assented to the long-pending Prohibition of Child Marriage (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2016, which gives the police greater powers to prevent child marriage and increases the penalties for involvement. Karnataka produces more than 20 percent of India’s child marriages. Source: The Hindu
Madhya Pradesh will offer farmers solar-powered irrigation pumps at 10 percent of cost, with the state bearing the remaining 90 percent. The state had previously announced a target of distributing 18,500 subsidized pumps. Source: Free Press Journal, Times of India
The Madhya Pradesh government imposed a ban on sand mining on the Narmada riverbed and formed a committee of experts to suggest measures to prevent ecological damage to the river. The government also banned the use of machines for sand mining in all rivers in Madhya Pradesh. Source: Hindu Business Line
The Maharashtra government has waived road tax and registration fees for electric vehicles registered in the state. The state had previously waived Value Added Tax on electric vehicles. Source: Tribune India
The results of municipal polls in the cities of Panvel, Bhiwandi, and Malegaon offered mixed results for the ruling BJP. The BJP will form the first ever municipal government in Panvel, but the Congress retained control of Bhiwandi and is the largest party in Malegaon. Source: First Post
State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL)has commissioned the fourth 270 megawatt (MW) coal-fired unit at RattanIndia Nasik Power Ltd’s 5×270 MW thermal power project. Source: Economic Times
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan Rajasthan $500 million to improve connectivity and to upgrade state highways for more efficient road transport. Under the loan program, Rajasthan will upgrade about 1,200 miles of state highways and major district roads to meet national road safety standards. Source: Money Control In Detail: Press Release
Tamil Nadu approved major educational reforms: beginning with the upcoming school year, students in Class XI will sit board exams, and the state will revise the higher secondary syllabus (Classes XI and XII) for the first time in 12 years. Syllabi for other classes, which were last revised seven years ago, will also be revised in phases. Source: The Hindu
Tamil Nadu has launched a scheme to sell LED lights at subsidized rates via designated sale points such as electricity bill payment centers. Nine watt LED bulbs will be sold for $1, 43 percent of the market price, at 60 places in Chennai, with plans to expand throughout the state. LED tube lights and energy efficient fans will also be sold at subsidised rates. Tamil Nadu aims to distribute 30 million LED bulbs, 3.5 million LED tubelights, and 1 million fans, at a total estimated annual electricity savings of 41.6 million kilowatt-hours. Source: Times of India
The Power Grid Corporation broke ground on an 800 kilovolt ultra high-voltage direct current system linking western Tamil Nadu with Chhattisgarh. When complete, the system will enable Tamil Nadu to transmit electricity generated from wind farms to central India. Source: The Hindu
Telangana IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao met with industry leaders in Silicon Valley to pitch Hyderabad as an investment destination. Source: Telangana Today
Telangana saw 17.8 percent growth in income generated through taxes in fiscal year 2016-17. Source: Outlook India
BHEL has commissioned the third and final unit of the 1,980 MW Prayagraj coal-based power project in Uttar Pradesh. Source: Hindu Business Line
A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on public sector undertakings (PSUs) in Uttar Pradesh found that out of 65 working PSUs, 24 incurred losses totalling $2.86 billion, while 33 earned profits totalling $109 million. Power PSUs came in for particular scrutiny: CAG found that the number of unmetered connections had risen by more than 200,000 in the four years ending March 2016. Source: Economic Times
With the GST set to roll out July 1, West Bengal is offering the state’s hotels, restaurants, bars and cable operators a one-time opportunity to clear disputed dues. The West Bengal Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2017 allows business to pay off their tax debts at a rate of 50 percent of the accumulated arrears. Source: Business Standard
Best of the Rest
The Uttarakhand state government has given district-level officials the power to clear project proposals worth up to $1.54 million. Projects worth over that amount will now be cleared by a committee headed by the chief minister. Source: Business Standard
See the entire digest at Engaging India’s States.