Update on India’s States: October 24, 2018

The center asks Telangana to return $25.8 million granted to the state under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana; Maharashtra approves vehicle for fast-tracking development of the Dharavi slums; the Ministry of Civil Aviation clears a proposal to connect Guwahati airport with seven neighboring countries; Sterlite Power announces it has commissioned the Northern Region System Strengthening project two months ahead of schedule; Punjab amends its industrial policy to give investment incentives, such as GST concessions approval for global tendering; and more.

Center – State relations

The Power Ministry announced a $13.6 million award for states that achieve 100 percent household electrification ahead of schedule under the Saubhagaya scheme. Apart from distribution companies, the employees would also collectively get a $68,000 award for completing the task of electrifying every household under the $2.2 billion Saubhagaya scheme. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has extended the bid submission for the second time for a 160 megawatt (MW) solar-wind hybrid power project with a battery energy storage system at Ramagiri, Andhra Pradesh. The new bid submission deadline is November 2, 2018. Earlier, it was revised from October 1, 2018 to October 10, 2018. Source: Mercom In detail: SECI bid submission deadline

Bihar government has announced a $204 million relief expenditure for the 206 drought-affected blocks in 23 districts in the state. The state government has declared these blocks drought-affected due to deficient rainfall, drying of standing crops, and a record 33 percent decrease of crop productivity. Source: All India Radio

The Delhi cabinet decided that all employed on a contract basis by the city government, boards, and corporations directly at minimum wage rates will receive payments as per the minimum wages that were prevailing before August 4, 2018. The Delhi high court had, in August, quashed a decision by the government in March 2017 revising the minimum wages for all classes of workers in scheduled employment. Source: Times of India

The Delhi government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the British Council to strengthen spoken-English skills among students of government schools as well as to teach teachers to impart quality education. Source: Daily Pioneer

Nothing critical to report this week.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar approved an agreement regarding the Kishau and Renuka dam, adding new storage capacities of 1.04 million acre-feet and 0.404 million acre-feet of water on the two tributaries of the Yamuna river on which the dams are located. In addition, these two dams would generate 660 MW and 40 MW power respectively. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said his government is ready to discuss the demands of Haryana Roadways employees who are on strike and urged them to resume duty immediately. The employees have been on strike since October 16 against the state government’s decision to hire 700 buses of private owners, seeing the move as a step towards privatization of the transport department. Source: NDTV

The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited has issued a tender for the allotment of 100 MW of grid connected solar projects in five talukas, or counties, across the state. The bid submission deadline is November 12, 2018. The minimum capacity set for this tender is 20 MW while the maximum for any given taluka will be 100 MW. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has implemented proposed changes to the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) regulations passed in 2011, which dictated that the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company purchase a minimum of 13 percent of its total energy from renewable sources. Under the amended RPO, this requirement has been reduced to 12 percent. Source: Energy Infra Post

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Maharashtra cabinet approved the establishment of a special purpose vehicle to fast-track the long-pending development of Asia’s largest slum Dharavi, located in Mumbai. The government has also decided to invite global tenders for the purpose. Source: Money Control

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the initiation of a district-wide competitive bidding process for the procurement of solar power under Mukhyamantri Saur Krishi Vahini Yojana. These solar photovoltaic projects will connect at the 11/22 kilovolt level, and will have an individual project capacity ranging between 2 MW and 10 MW. Source: Energy Infra Post 

The government has tasked AIGP Developers to set up an information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services special economic zone in Maharashtra over an area of 16.5 acres. Source: Economic Times

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Tamil Nadu government has signed an MOU to merge the existing Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme of the state, introduced in 2009, with the prime minister’s Jan Arogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat program. Tamil Nadu’s health insurance scheme covers 15.7 million families and gives up to $6,800 every year, per family, on par with the prime minister’s scheme. Source: News Today

In an unprecedented move, the center has asked the Telangana government to return $25.8 million granted to the state in 2016-17 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to build rural houses for the poor. The decision comes after the state government refused to update the center regarding its progress on implementing the scheme and meeting its target of building 70,674 houses. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh cabinet adopted a proposal to rename the historic city of Allahabad as Prayagraj, a move opposed by the opposition parties in the state. Source: Economic Times

The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency has invited bids for 550 MW of grid connected solar photovoltaic power projects through a tariff-based competitive bidding process. The last date for bid submission is November 14, 2018. Source: Mercom In detail: Request for Proposal

The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited is planning to launch a new scheme called “Jhatpat Connection Yojana” to ensure easy and swift processing of applications for electricity connections online. Under the scheme, a consumer’s application would be immediately forwarded to the requisite engineers under a swift processing system for quick approval.  Source: Economic Times

The West Bengal government has decided to merge the state’s Swasthya Sathi scheme with the center’s health insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana or Ayushman Bharat. Source: Economic Times

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the state government has ensured food security for over 85 million people of the state under the ‘Khadya Sathi’ scheme. Special assistance has also been offered to residents of Jangalmahal, West Bengal’s Hill areas, Aila-affected areas, farmers in Singur, tea garden workers, and members of the Toto tribe. Source: NDTV

Best of the Rest

Assam

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has cleared an international air connectivity scheme that will connect Guwahati airport with seven neighboring countries. Source: NorthEastIndia

Goa

In a bid to promote renewable sources of energy, the Goa Electricity Department has decided to procure 125 MW of solar power from the National Thermal Power Corporation and 100 MW of wind power from Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited. It will purchase both sources of power at the rate of $0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or unit.  Source: Goacom

Himachal Pradesh

The Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued new draft regulations regarding rooftop solar photovoltaic grid interactive systems based on net metering. The regulations outline maximum capacity of rooftop solar systems, approved connected load, and metering guidelines for rooftop solar connections. The draft is open for comments and suggestions up to October 29, 2018. Source: Mercom In detail: Notification

Jammu and Kashmir

Power transmission infrastructure developer Sterlite Power announced it has commissioned a $408.29 million Northern Region System Strengthening two months ahead of schedule. The 257-mile project will ensure reliable power access for the valley by augmenting the state’s power transmission capacity by at least 33 percent. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

Kerala

The National Thermal Power Corporation has issued a tender for 70MW of grid-connected floating solar at its Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kayamkulam, Kerala. The final date for bid submissions is November 15. Source: PV Tech In detail: Invitation for Bid

Odisha

The Odisha government increased the dearness allowance for its employees and dearness relief for pensioners by two percent. Source: Business Standard

Punjab

In an attempt to bring transparency to the sand mining sector, the Punjab cabinet approved major policy changes to enable the government to grant contracts by auction of mining blocks in strategically established clusters through progressive bidding instead of the earlier process of auction by individual mines. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

The Punjab cabinet approved an ordinance to amend Schedule 1-A of Indian Stamp Act, 1899, to enable increase in the stamp duty rates. Stamp duty rates for 17 items stand to double following the amendment, which the cabinet found to be essential to boost the revenue receipts of the state. Punjab currently raises $6.8 million from stamp duty, which would go up to nearly $20 million with the increase in rates. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Punjab cabinet approved a policy to allow promoters of colonies to surrender their licenses if they are unable to develop their projects. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Punjab government approved amendments to the industrial policy to give investment incentives, offering concessions on the Goods and Services Tax rate, as well as approving global tendering for the upcoming hi-tech cycle valley on a 100-acre industrial park in Ludhiana. Source: Hindustan Times In detail: Press Release

Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand state election commission released the timeline for the upcoming urban local body elections. Nominations would be open from October 20-23, following which nominees will be scrutinized. The commission would provide election symbols on October 29, and the first phase of urban local body elections in Uttarakhand will be held on November 18 across 84 of 92 local bodies. Source: Hindustan Times

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