Update on India’s States: October 19, 2016

Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh sign deals with Russian investors; Andhra Pradesh issues its first UDAY bonds; Maharashtra is converting state-owned land to freehold and selling it; solar projects shelved in Rajasthan; a hospitalized Jayalitha relinquishes her portfolios; and more.

Center–State relations

The central government has initiated a countrywide campaign to improve implementation of its flagship urban missions, including Swachh Bharat, Smart Cities, and the universal housing scheme. Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu will visit two states every week to clear roadblocks in implementation of these programs. Poll-bound Gujarat and Goa were the first stops. Source: Economic Times

State tax revenues were higher than the center’s by an unprecedented $86.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2016. The increase was thanks mainly to the increase in transfers from the center’s divisible pool following the 14th Finance Commission award. Source: Financial Express

Union minister of state for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal launched the Mining Surveillance System, a satellite-based system for identifying illegal mining activity. Source: The Hans India

The Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on shipbuilding with Russian corporations in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin. The agreements were signed with United Shipbuilding Corporation (Russia’s largest shipbuilder) as well as with Alexeev’s Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau, Radar MMS, Morinsis-AGAT, and Elcom Systems Private Limited. Source: Indian Express

The center has announced it will open Foreign Post Offices in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir. The facilities will allow for the import and export of goods via parcel post. Source: The Hindu

On October 18 the Andhra Pradesh government issued special securities worth $1.25 billion under the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna Scheme (UDAY). Source: Economic Times

The government of Switzerland has offered to provide technical support for the construction of energy efficient buildings in the new capital of Amaravati. Swiss assistance will be offered under the umbrella of the the Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Union Cabinet cleared the construction of a 13 mile road to link Jharkhand and Bihar, which will include a four-lane bridge over the Ganga River. The project will cost $300 million and will be built under the newly introduced hybrid annuity mode with a concession period of 19 years. Source: Livemint

Nothing critical to report this week.

As part of the international outreach program for the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit, a high-level delegation from Gujarat will visit Japan and South Korea from October 17-21. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Haryana government has amended the Haryana Building Code to make installation of a decentralized solid waste management plant mandatory in group housing societies, hostels, and hotels. Buildings that contain such facilities will be able to take advantage of a higher Floor Area Ratio. Source: The Hindu

Karnataka and the Wielkopolska region of Poland have signed a letter of intent (LoI) with plans for economic cooperation between the two states. The LoI commits the two sides to exploring the prospects for developing economic relations. Source: Hindu Business Line

The Madhya Pradesh government will provide a special package of incentives to major investors in the food processing industry. The details of the package are not yet clear. Source: Times of India

Madhya Pradesh will launch a major anti-anemia drive on November 1. Free iron folic acid tablets will be provided in village health centers, academic institutions and hospitals. Source: Indian Express

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the upper income limit for classification as Economically Backward will be raised to $9,000 per year. The state will pay 50 percent of fees for professional courses for students whose parents have annual income of $9,000 or less. Source: Economic Times

The state revenue department has begun identifying plots of state-owned land where the lessee has violated lease conditions. Leases will be terminated and the land converted into a freehold and sold commercially. Source: Indian Express

The Maharashtra government is investing around $750 million in the Digital Maharashtra project. The first phase of the project will connect 29,000 village councils across the state. Source: Livemint

Maharashtra has made institutional arbitration the state government’s preferred mode of dispute resolution. The release of the policy comes as the chief minister is heavily promoting a new international arbitration center in Mumbai. Source: Business Standard

Cisco announced it has started manufacturing operations in India. The networking device manufacturer has partnered with the government of Maharashtra to launch a manufacturing facility in Pune. Source: Business Standard

A Russian delegation headed by Denis Manturov, Russian minister of industry and trade, met with Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje to discuss collaboration in mining and agriculture. Source: India Today

On October 25, Rajasthan’s chapter of Rajya Karmachari Samyukt Mahasangh, a union representing state government employees, will hold protests in the state to demand implementation of the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission as well as payment of salary arrears. Source: Times of India

NLC India Limited, a public sector enterprise, has abandoned its plans to set up solar projects in Rajasthan. This is due to the refusal by the state’s distribution companies to buy solar power, which is more expensive than conventional power. Source: Economic Times

The governor of Tamil Nadu has transferred the portfolios held by Chief Minister Jayalalitha to the state finance minister O Paneerselvam, for the duration of her hospitalization. Source: Hindu Business Line

Political parties and farmer organizations in Tamil Nadu held a two-day protest, blocking rail traffic, demanding the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board to manage inter-state allocation of the Cauvery River waters. Source: India Today

The Telangana government has identified 4,594 acres of land for dry ports in Zaheerbad, Bhongir, Jadcherla and Damarcharla districts. The center has been asked to provide $150 million of the estimated total cost of $400 million. Source: Deccan Chronicle

The Telangana government has signed an MoU with Johnson & Johnson to work together to eradicate tuberculosis from the state. Source: Siasat

Telangana industries minister K T Rama Rao is on a week-long tour of the US to attract investment for the state. He met with pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Pfizer and addressed leaders from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. He also launched a new initiative, T-Bridge, to provide Telangana’s incubator T-Hub with an outpost in Silicon Valley. Source: Business Standard, The Hindu

Ashok Leyland, the commercial vehicle manufacturing company, has signed an MoU with the Telangana government to invest $75 million in building a manufacturing unit in the state. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

The All-India Trinamool Congress (AITC) deepened its hold over the state as 22 Indian National Congress politicians active in local governance switched their allegiance to the AITC. The defections all took place in the Murshidabad district. Source: Indian Express


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