Update on India’s States: October 25, 2017

Rajasthan tables a controversial law to protect public officials from investigation; Maharashtra plans further privatization of power distribution; Punjab freezes lower power tariffs for industry; Haryana cracks the whip on public employees with power debts; and more.

Center–State relations

Nothing critical to report this week.


The Andhra Pradesh government announced a rent guarantee scheme for technology park developers as part of its Designated Technology Park Policy 2017-2020. The state government will guarantee up to 35 percent of the full rental income of the park. Source: Business Standard

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has canceled its memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation following delays in the tender process and disputes over the model for the city’s mass transit. The center has not yet approved the Amaravati metro and is pushing for a light rail system instead. Source: Deccan Chronicle


Nothing critical to report this week.


Nothing critical to report this week.


Gujarat announced significant pay hikes for teachers and municipality employees in the run-up to state elections likely to take place in November or December. Teachers on fixed-salary contracts will see their salaries rise from $250 to $384 dollars per month. Source: Economic Times

Orange Renewable has commissioned a 40 megawatt (MW) solar power project at the Charanka solar park in Gujarat. Orange won the project from the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) via competitive bidding processes in 2016 using the viability gap funding (VGF) scheme. Source: PV Tech


Haryana’s chief secretary issued a circular directing all government employees and pensioners pay overdue electricity bills immediately and also to adhere to the Haryana Civil Services (Government Employees’ Conduct) Rules, 2016, which forbids state employees from being habitually in debt. Source: Business Standard In Detail: Circular


Nothing critical to report this week.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan arrived in the United States for a week-long trip to meet with business leaders. Source: Money Control


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed victory in the second phase of village council elections. The BJP won in 1,311 of the 3,666 gram panchayats that went to the polls. According to figures released by the BJP’s state office, the Congress won 312 gram panchayats, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party (297) and Shiv Sena (295). Source: LiveMint

Maharashtra’s power utilities lost $4.3 billion in the 2015-16 fiscal year, compared to a profit of $281 million in 2014-15. The losses were mainly due to charging depreciation of $4.2 billion on revalued assets for the period FY06 to FY15. Source: Financial Express In Detail: Power Finance Corporation Performance Report

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (Mahadiscom), the Maharashtra electricity distribution company, is planning to invite international bids to implement the distribution franchisee model in six more locations. Currently, the model, in which a private company provides electricity at a set rate and collects dues, is used in parts of the Bhiwandi, Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Jalgaon distribution circles. Source: Hindu Business Line


The Rajasthan government tabled the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the assembly. The bill prevents serving government officials from being sued without prior approval by the government. It also bars the media from naming the subject of a suit until the state government allows the case to be investigated. The bill would make permanent the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on September 7. Source: Indian Express In Detail: Bill Text


The center approved the detailed project report for introducing ‘BharatNet’–broadband services in rural areas — in Tamil Nadu with a budget of $188 million. The project, which involves deploying broadband with a high speed of around 1 gigabit per second, will be implemented by the state. India hopes to introduce high-speed wireless in 100,000 villages by the end of the year. Source: CXO Today

Rays Power Infra has signed a power-purchase agreement with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (Tangedco) to sell 100 MW of solar power at 5 cents per unit. Source: Business Standard


The winter session of the Telangana legislature will commence on October 27. Source: Hindu Business Line

Shortly after Andhra Pradesh announced it would use blockchain technology to secure public records, the Telangana government said it will also utilize blockchain to protect digitized revenue/land records. Agricultural land records in over 10,000 revenue villages are being updated to prepare for the implementation of an input subsidy scheme. Source: Live Mint


In line with the center’s national aviation policy and regional connectivity scheme, the state government has promulgated the UP “Civil aviation promotion policy 2017.”  The policy aims to connect underserved and unserved airports. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: UP Civil Aviation Policy


Nothing critical to report this week.

Best of the Rest

Odisha

The state government launched a dedicated web portal (odisha.data.gov.in) that will share public data on government departments and development programs. Source: Times of India

Punjab

The Punjab cabinet approved a new Industrial and Business Development Policy that freezes the industrial power tariff at 7 cents per unit for five years. Source: Livemint In Detail: Industrial Policy

Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand government has altered the terms of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to help the participants create private assets. Those seeking work under the program can now be paid to plant orchards or to build the infrastructure necessary to raise goats or chickens. Previously projects under the scheme were all carried out on public land. Source: Hindustan Times

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