Update on India’s States: October 10, 2018

Madhya Pradesh approves the Aviation Policy, 2018, providing a subsidy to airlines which operate flights under the center’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN; Jammu and Kashmir devolves powers to local government bodies such as panchayats for the first time; New Delhi permanently shuts down the Badarpur thermal power station, which contributed 11 percent of deadly ultrafine particulate matter in the city’s air; Uttarakhand receives investment proposals worth $9.4 billion at a two-day investors summit; and more.

Center – State relations

The center reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel to lower pump prices as global crude surged to a four-year record, and instructed oil marketing companies to absorb relief. The center’s decision was followed by price cuts in petrol in diesel by 11 states. Source: Economic Times, NDTV

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of India signed an agreement for a $150 million loan to finance continued improvements to road connectivity and efficiency of the International Trade Corridor in West Bengal and north-eastern region of India. Source: Press Information Bureau In detail: Press Release

The Election Commission announced the schedule for Legislative Assembly elections in five states – Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, and Telangana – between November 12 and December 7.  The votes from all five states will be counted on December 11. Source: Economic Times In detail: Schedule for General Elections

To celebrate Gandhi Jayanti, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu launched the Mukhyamantri Yuvanestam program in the state, offering over 210,000 educated unemployed youth an allowance of $13 per month, as well as access to skill development programs, apprenticeship and training programs. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a $20 million Mi LED TV manufacturing plant built by Chinese electronics major Xiaomi. Source: Financial Express

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Badarpur thermal power station will be permanently shut down on October 15, and will be replaced by a substation in Tughlakabad, which will be commissioned by the end of the month. The Badarpur power station was the national capital’s biggest power generator for over 45 years and the contributor of 11 percent of the deadly ultrafine particulate matter in the city’s air.  Source: Hindustan Times

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission allowed the power distribution utility, BSES Yamuna, to recover $30.9 million from its consumers due to power purchase costs incurred for buying power from Anta, Auraiya, and Dadri stations from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Source: Times of India

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Green Business Certification Institute to bring together relevant technical competencies and share resources, tools and information to promote, implement, and accelerate the uptake of smart grid technologies and sustainable power system in India, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited has released a tender for 700 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects to be established under Phase III of Raghanesda Solar Park located in the state. Source: Mercom In detail: Notice details

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), in collaboration with the Haryana government, launched a Center of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT) at Gurugram. The center will provide one of the largest innovation platforms for enabling IoT revolution through connected devices using emerging technologies.  Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

The Karnataka government launched Unnati, a program aimed at promoting technology start-ups led by entrepreneurs from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, as well as those start-ups that are developing a product or a solution with a strong rural-focus. Source: Economic Times

Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Infosys, has signed an MOU with the Karnataka Police to establish a center for Cybercrime Investigation Training & Research (CCITR) in Bengaluru and maintain it for five years. Infosys Foundation has committed $2.9 million to support building the center that will house the CCITR through a public-private-partnership model. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release

The Union Cabinet approved two metro rail projects in Indore and Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The Indore project is estimated to cost $1 billion, while the Bhopal project is estimated to cost $934 million. Both projects will be completed in four years. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release, Press Release

The government of India and ADB signed a $150 million loan agreement to establish the Global Skills Park, the country’s first multi-skills park in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh to create a more skilled workforce and enhance the quality of technical and vocational education and training system in the state. Source: NDTV In detail: Press Release

The government of India and ADB signed a $110 million loan agreement to upgrade all-weather rural roads in Madhya Pradesh under the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Programme (PMGSY). The $110 million is the second tranche of a $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Programme for India approved by ADB in December 2017. Source: NDTV In detail: Press Release

Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam announced that it has achieved a historic low tariff of 1 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or unit, for central government buildings in its RESCO II rooftop solar tender. Source: Economic Times

The Madhya Pradesh government has created a new district called Niwari in the state. Source: NDTV

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the creation of a $13.45 million start-up fund to promote entrepreneurial activity in the state at the Future of MP: Start-up Conclave. Source: Your Story

The Madhya Pradesh cabinet approved the state’s Aviation Policy, 2018, and announced it would provide a subsidy to airlines which operate flights under the center’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. Source: NDTV In detail: UDAN scheme details

In the wake of the rollout of India’s flagship insurance scheme the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojna (PMJAY) and the state’s counterpart of the national scheme, the state government of Maharashtra announced a regulation that would impose penalty on private hospitals who charge an additional amount from patients treated under these programs. Source: Economic Times

The Maharashtra state government and University of Southern California signed an MOU to work together on projects related to artificial intelligence. Source: Indian Express

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company has procured a power trading license from the state electricity regulatory commission, and has outlined plan to purchase solar power from upcoming power projects and sell it to the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. Source: DNA

Most coal power plants in Maharashtra are running on less than ten days’ stock, underscoring an acute coal shortage that could result in power shortages and load shedding in the state. According to data from the Central Electricity Authority, six of Maharashtra’s thermal power plants are running on less than four days’ stock of coal. Source: Indian Express

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced free electricity for more than 1.2 million farmers for up to $135 for a year on their agricultural electricity connection, starting in November 2018. The scheme will be implemented through Direct Benefit Transfer grants, which will reimburse farmers up to a maximum amount of $11.2 per month after they first pay the bill. Source: News World India

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated the Dravyavati River Rejuvenation Project in Jaipur. The project, which will be executed by Tata Projects, aims to reduce pollution, create green spaces and treat 170 million liters of sewerage water every day. Source: Financial Express

Cisco launched the START product in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, to accelerate digitization of small and medium businesses (SMBs) in southern India. Cisco announced that the product has been specifically designed to help SMBs build their digital foundation and become globally competitive. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Sembcorp Energy India and Suzlon Group announced completion of a 250 MW wind power project, the first wind energy project auctioned by the Solar Energy Corporation of India, at Chandragiri in Tamil Nadu. The power generated from the project will be supplied to the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a request for the procurement and a power purchase agreement for 500 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects put forth by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency. Source: Mercom

The government of India and ADB signed a $100 million loan agreement to strengthen capacity of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for resilient urban services. The $100 million loan is the third and final tranche under a $400 million Kolkata Environmental Improvement Investment Program, which is aimed at expanding sewerage and drainage coverage and providing sewage treatment in Kolkata. Source: NDTV In detail: Press Release

The government of India and ADB signed a $240 million loan agreement to provide safe and sustainable drinking water to about 1.65 million people in three districts of the state of West Bengal affected by arsenic, fluoride, and salinity. Source: Devdiscourse In detail: Press Release

In celebration of the International Day for Older Persons, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the state government will waive the 10 percent property tax for senior citizens, set up a helpline for their use, and open geriatric care units at state-run district hospitals. Source: NDTV

Best of the Rest

Arunachal Pradesh

The center has extended the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and its eight police station areas bordering Assam by another six months, in view of continuing activities of banned insurgent groups in northeast India. Source: Economic Times

Assam

Assam Petrochemicals Limited rolled out the country’s first methanol-based cooking fuel, which will be 30 percent cheaper than conventional LPG fuel, cleaner, greener, and easily transportable. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

The Assam Legislative Assembly approved the enactment of the Assam Inland Water Transport Regulatory Authority Act, thereby approving the formation of a regulatory authority to promote the overall operations of Inland Water Transport department. Source: The Shillong Times

Chhattisgarh

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Chief Minister Raman Singh inaugurated the 295 kms Katghora-Mungeli-Kawardha-Dongargarh railway line project, which will be developed over the next 53 months at a cost of $800 million. Source: Daily Pioneer

Himachal Pradesh

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced that Himachal Pradesh is offering land at a rate of 1 cent per square meter to woo investors to set up renewable energy projects in the state. He went on to say that the state will allow deferred royalty payments, and that the state electricity board would buy power directly from renewable projects. Source: Economic Times

Jammu and Kashmir

More than 26 years after the passage of the 73rd Amendment, the State Administrative Council of the Jammu and Kashmir government has granted powers to local government bodies, such as panchayats, to directly implement various centrally sponsored development schemes and supervise the functioning of certain government offices and schools in their respective areas for the first time. Source: The Statesman

Kerala

The Kerala government has decided to amend the Kerala State Fishermen Debt Relief Commission Act in order to assist fishermen who are in debt after taking loans from banks, other agencies, and individuals. Source: Business Standard

Mizoram

The Mizoram government announced the opening of three new treasury offices at three towns of Mizoram – Khawzawl, Saitual, and Hnahthial. Source: The Sentinel

Nagaland

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio inaugurated the state’s first ever innovation hub and space education center at the Nagaland Science Center in Dimapur. The center will promote socio-cultural and economic progress through application of science and technology aimed at a sustainable development of the state. Source: Business Standard

Odisha

Gridco, Odisha’s bulk power procurer and trader, has expressed interest to purchase 40 MW of solar power from the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation. The hydropower generation company has proposed to set up the 40-MW solar plant in Odisha with an investment of about $26.3 million, and the state technical committee has approved the proposal. Source: Business Standard

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched a food security scheme in the state to cover the poor people “left out” from the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Source: Business Standard

Punjab

The Punjab cabinet approved implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana health insurance scheme by extending the central scheme to cover over 4.2 million families. The scheme would put a burden of $40.3 million on the state exchequer. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

The Punjab cabinet approved the establishment of the Punjab Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Mission in an attempt to boost the state government’s employment drive by focusing wage facilitation and self-employment for the unemployed youth of the state, as well as improving employability through skill training and skill upgrades. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press Release

The Punjab cabinet passed a policy to regularize illegal colonies built before March 18, 2018. Source: Hindustan Times In detail: Press Release

The Punjab state government announced it would promote the establishment of business process outsourcing and other IT-enabled services operations in the state in order to propel the Information Technology and IT-enabled Services industry in the backward areas of Punjab and provide maximum job avenues to the state’s youth. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

Uttarakhand

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that the state has received investment proposals worth $9.4 billion at the two-day Uttarakhand Investors Summit. Source: Economic Times In detail: Uttarakhand Investors Summit Webpage

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