Update on India’s States: November 28, 2018

 Andhra Pradesh freezes electric power tariff hikes ahead of 2019 election and expands power subsidies; Maharashtra approved legislation to give job and education quotas to the Marathi community; Uttar Pradesh announces a plan to merge all the government controlled cooperative banks into a single entity; West Bengal allows single-bid tenders for smaller contracts; Governor of Jammu & Kashmir dissolves the state assembly; and more.

Center – State relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a program to supply compressed natural gas to automobiles and piped cooking gas to kitchens in 129 districts across 18 states, covering over a quarter of India’s population. The prime minister also launched the 10th round of bidding to award city gas licenses in 124 new districts in an attempt to cut carbon emissions. Source: Deccan Herald In detail: Press Release

According to the India Skills Report 2019, Andhra Pradesh emerged as the state with the highest employability, followed by Rajasthan and Haryana. The report noted that employability levels for graduates with  a Bachelor’s of Technology or a Bachelor’s of Engineering increased across all the sectors, from 42.8 percent last year to 63.1 percent this year. Source: NDTV In detail: India Skills Report 2019

Power distribution companies (discoms) in Andhra Pradesh announced that there will be no increase in electricity tariffs for the next year financial year 2019-20. They also announced that farmers will get seven hours of free power supply a day, and there will be free power supply to the state’s open air laundries or “dhobi ghats,” and nursery farmers. Source: Times of India

The New Development Bank gave an “in-principle” approval to fund two projects in Amaravati, the planned new capital in Andhra Pradesh. The two projects include the Andhra Pradesh Mandal Connectivity and Rural Connectivity Improvement Project and the Andhra Pradesh Roads and Bridges Reconstruction Project. The cost of each project is $453.5 million. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Bihar cabinet approved the second supplementary budget proposals worth $1.48 billion for the fiscal year 2018-19, which will be presented in the winter session of the assembly. The Bihar government had earlier passed a first supplementary budget of $2.8 billion. Bihar’s budget for 2018-19 is of $24.9 billion. Source: Business Standard

The Delhi cabinet granted administrative approval to procure 1,000 low-floor air-conditioned buses for the national capital. In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the cabinet set October 2019 as the deadline for arrival of the buses. Source: NDTV

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in the presence of Gujarat’s chief minister, Vijay Rupani, establishing a first-of-its-kind desalination plant at Jodiya in Jamnagar. The plant, with a daily capacity of 100 million liters, will have a reinforced concrete cement sump, connecting pipeline, and pumping machinery. Source: Times of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-mile-long Escorts Mujesar-Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabhgarh) section of Delhi Metro’s Violet Line. With the inauguration of the section, the length of the Violet Line span is currently 29 miles and the total length of the Delhi Metro network now stands at 197 miles. Source: Indian Express In detail: Press Release

The Karnataka cabinet approved the release $638.2 million for the land acquisition and compensation to farmers to complete the long-pending Peripheral Ring Road in Bengaluru.  Source: The Hindu Business Line

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra passed the Maratha Reservation Bill, extending a quota in education and jobs to the Maratha community. The decision comes months after massive protests by members of the community.  Source: Times Now

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission, the state power regulator, reversed its earlier order on compensatory tariff in an ongoing dispute between Adani Power Maharashtra Limited and state discom Mahavitaran Limited. The decision in support of Adani Power is expected to increase the power tariff for consumers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Maharashtra. Source: Mumbai mirror

The Maharashtra government signed an MOU with Holtec Asia, a subsidiary of Holtec International, to set up a nuclear equipment manufacturing facility in the state. Holtec has expressed an interest in investing $680 million to build a facility in India dedicated towards manufacturing high-end nuclear power plant equipment. With this investment, Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to have a nuclear equipment manufacturing facility. Source: Indian Express

The Maharashtra government signed MOUs with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) to implement gas-based trigeneration projects in selective facilities including government-owned hospitals, guest houses, hostels, offices and other government buildings. The agreements were signed between EESL and the Medical Education & Drugs Department, the Public Works Department, the General Administration Department, and Tribal Development Department. Source: Economic Times

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis approved various infrastructure proposals for Mumbai and its adjoining areas, including detailed project reports for three new Metro lines with a total cost of around $2.55 billion. Source: News On Air

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulation Commission approved a proposal by Tangedco to float solar and wind power tenders for the current financial year. The commission has set a minimum tariff of $0.04 per kilowatt-hour, or unit, for solar power and $0.03 per unit for wind power. Source: Times of India

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s report on state finances, Telangana’s debt has gone up by 9.5 percent in the past financial year. The RBI went on to say that said the state has increased its debt from 12.7 percent of its gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the Financial Year 2016-17 to 22.2 percent its GSDP in the Financial Year 2017-18. Source: The News Minute In detail: State Finances: A Study of Budgets of 2017-18 and 2018-19

To pave the way for the growth of electric vehicles, the Telangana State Electricity Regulatory Commission created a new category of consumers for electric vehicle charging stations, and fixed the tariff for charging stations at $0.08 per unit.  Source: The Hindu

The Uttar Pradesh government announced a plan to merge all the government controlled cooperative banks into a single entity for better management, efficiency and credit growth. The merger proposal covers the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Bank, the Uttar Pradesh Sahkari Gram Vikas Bank, and 50 district cooperative banks. Source: Business Standard

The Uttar Pradesh government approved a fund of $178.7 million to ensure land acquisition for the proposed Jewar airport in Gautam Buddh Nagar. A total of 5,000 hectares is required for the development of the proposed international airport, which will cost between $2.12 billion and $2.8 billion. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh state cabinet approved a new reimbursement policy for multiplex companies who invested in the state under a five-year tax exemption scheme offered by the previous government, including state goods and services tax refunds. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited bids from a selection of solar park developers to develop a 200 megawatt (MW) solar park in the state through tariff-based competitive bidding process. Source: Mercom

The West Bengal government decided that government departments can now approve tenders up to $1.4 million for special cases even if there is a single bidder. Earlier, the government imposed a “rule of three,” which mandated that the lowest among at least three bidders used to get the work order, and became a stranglehold on the government’s efforts to undertake regular repair of the existing bridges. Source: Times of India

The West Bengal power department signed an MOU with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to implement Battery Energy Storage System as a pilot project om the state to help meet future demand of electric-based vehicles. Source: Millennium Post In detail: Press Release

The West Bengal Assembly unanimously passed the West Bengal Land Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2018, thereby giving land rights to enclave dwellers in north Bengal, ending an era of uncertain future for the people residing in those enclaves. Source: Hindustan Times

Best of the Rest

Assam

Quantum Materials Corporation signed an MOU with Amtronics CC for the development and commercial manufacture of ultra-high definition display panels, solid state lighting LEDs, and quantum dot driven thin-film solar cells in Assam. Source: Energy Infra Post

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh government has allotted the 780 MW Jangi-Thopan-Powari hydroelectric project to the state-run power producer, Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited. The allotment of project is on a “Build, Own, and Operate & Transfer” basis for a period of 70 years. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

Jharkhand

The center and the Jharkhand government signed an agreement with the World Bank for a  $310 million loan to boost the state’s power system, mainly transmission infrastructure. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Jharkhand government declared 129 blocks in 18 districts as drought-affected and released $6.9 million for immediate relief. The state government has also asked the  central government for further assistance. Source: Business Standard

Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu & Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state legislative assembly, ending any possibility of government formation shortly after rival political combines said they would stake their claims to power. The state is now headed for a further spell of president’s rule after the first six-month term ends on December 19. Source: Economic Times

Manipur

The Manipur government launched the Manipur Cab Services, aimed at helping the poor, providing employment to unemployed youth, and ensuring sustainable livelihood for various people in the state. Source: The Sentinel

Meghalaya

Oil Marketing Companies have issued advertisements inviting applications from prospective candidates for setting up of petrol pumps in Meghalaya to meet the growing demand for fuel in the state. The state currently has 197 number of petrol pumps, and aims to increase this number to 233. Source: The Shillong Times

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs  has released $18 million for various works proposed by the Meghalaya government. A total of $3.5 million has also been earmarked for extending coverage of Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme to the state of Meghalaya. Source: Times of India

Odisha

The Gas Authority of India Limited, Bharat Gas Resources, and Adani Gas Limited announced they will invest around $482 million in 17 districts in Odisha to provide piped natural gas to households, as well as commercial and industrial segments under the central government’s City Gas Distribution project. The project is expected to provide employment to around 20,000 people of the state. Source: Times of India

Punjab

Singapore-based Think Gas Investments PTE Limited announced it would establish natural gas distribution infrastructure in Punjab with an expected investment of $283.4 million. The proposed infrastructure will be spread across an area of 4,633 square miles — covering the districts of Ludhiana, Barnala, Moga, Jalandhar, Kapurthala ,and SBS Naga — and generate more than 1,500 new jobs. Source: Daily Pioneer

Sikkim

Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling announced that the state government will provide employment to 17,000 youths this year under the first phase of the One Family One Job program. Source: Sentinel Assam

Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling inaugurated the 110 MW Chujachen (East) Hydro Power Project. The project has been installed by Gati Infrastructure and designed by Colenco Power Engineering Ltd of Switzerland. Source: United News of India

Tripura

Union Minister for Tourism KJ Alphons, Tripura governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, and Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb jointly inaugurated the three-day International Tourism Mart in the state to promote and showcase the tourism potential of the northeast. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat approved investment proposals from over 100 entrepreneurs, paving the way to generate $4.25 billion investment in the state. The government has set a deadline of March 31 for completing all the procedures involved in implementation of the proposals. As soon as the investors agree to the set deadline, the state’s department of industries will allot 1,700 acres of land to them from the industrial land bank of the state. Source: SwarajMag

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