Update on India’s States: September 13, 2017

Assam passes a critical labor-law reform; MNRE imposes stiff penalties on states seeking to renege on solar PPAs; Karnataka makes many schools free for female students; Rajasthan experiments with privatization of public schools; Nagaland will use DBT for workfare payments; and more.

Center-State relations

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a comprehensive notification regarding solar power purchase that imposes stiff penalties on contractual parties, whether purchasers or producers, who breach power purchase agreements (PPA). The notification stipulates that if a purchaser ignores a ‘must-run’ status clause the producer will be owed 50 percent of the tariff for the hours of back-down. If the purchaser terminates a PPA, the purchaser must either purchase the power plant at 150 percent of cost or pay the purchaser six months of tariffs as a penalty. Source: Economic Times In Detail: Notification

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board to conduct a feasibility study of connecting Vijayawada and Amaravati via hyperloop. Source: Hindu Business Line

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of India signed an agreement to improve incomes and strengthen drought resilience for 165,000 farming households in the five driest districts of Andhra Pradesh. The total project cost is $148.8 million, with IFAD contributing $75.5 million. Source: Times of India

Nothing critical to report this week.

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to install 65,000 solar modules on buildings located in the NDMC’s jurisdiction, with the potential to generate 20 megawatts (MW) of power. Source: Economic Times

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd (TPDDL) is rolling out 250,000 smart meters as part of the first phase of its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project, in partnership with the global energy management firm Landis+Gyr. Rollout will take place between March 2018 and March 2019. Source: Economic Times


The Gujarat government signed an MOU with Google India to advance the ‘Digital Gujarat’ agenda by training small and medium entrepreneurs to use digital platforms for business development, as well as training university and postgraduate students in programming for mobile platforms. Source: Times of India


Nothing critical to report this week.


Karnataka will reimburse all tuition fees, except examination fees, for female students in all public and publicly subsidized schools and colleges in the state. The scheme is expected to cost $17.2 million in the first year and benefit 1.8 million students. Source: Digital Learning

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has ordered a mid-term revision of tariffs for wind energy. KERC reduced the tariff to 5.8 cents per unit, down from the 7 cents per unit fixed in February 2015. 599 MW of projects with signed PPAs will be affected by the order. Source: The Hindu, Economic Times

An Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has cleared state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s plans for a $985 million helicopter manufacturing plant in Tumakuru district. The factory will include manufacturing and assembling divisions, supported by a runway and a township. Source: Money control

A study conducted by Assocham’s Economic Research Bureau ranked Karnataka as the top manufacturing state in the country. Source: Assocham India


The Madhya Pradesh government won its legal fight to cancel all PPAs with SkyPower Global, a Canada-based solar power company. The state government also attempted to do the same to contracts with ReNew Power, which has gone to court to enforce the contracts. The state alleged that SkyPower had failed to procure the land necessary for the solar park by the stipulated date. Source: Business Standard


The Maharashtra cabinet approved a loan of $22.8 million from the German Development Bank (GDB) to help the Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company set up 27 wind energy plants in the State. The cost of the project will be born by the GDB, the center, and the state in a 40/40/20 ratio. Source: The Hindu

Maharashtra received central government consent for five ambitious river-linking projects to tackle drought in the state and increase irrigation coverage. The projects link 10 different rivers within the state at a cost of $1.7 billion. Source: Indian Express


Rajasthan will run 300 of the state’s public secondary schools on a public-private partnership model beginning in the next academic year. Out of the 9,895 eligible schools, 300 will be selected based on poor results and location outside urban centers. Source: Indian Express


Tamil Nadu launched a program to ensure uninterrupted power supply to industries by assigning them dedicated power feeders. The state power distributor will set up a substation on land provided by the industrial consumer and ensure supply through a dedicated dual network. Source: Times of India

Tamil Nadu will invest around $156 million in food-processing plants over the next year, building supply-chain management units in nine districts with an investment of $62 million. The project is funded by the National Bank for Rural Development and the state government. Source: Hindu Business Line


The Telangana Civil Supplies Department launched ‘T-Ration’, a mobile application for the state’s 27.5 million ration card holders. The app lets users view stock at any ration shop, locate the nearest shop, and see how much that shop has already dispensed this month. Source: Outlook India

NGO Safe Water Network has partnered with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to launch water ATMs that will provide affordable, 24×7 access to safe water. A total of 200 ATMs will be built to serve 150,000 people. Source: Hindu Business Line

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, two deputy chief ministers, and a cabinet minister were elected unopposed to the Legislative Council, the upper house of the Uttar Pradesh state legislative assembly. Source: Economic Times


The West Bengal cabinet approved a new proposal to re-name the state Bangla. The center had previously rejected a proposal to give the state three slightly different names in its three principle languages of Bengali, Hindi, and English. The state will again seek the center’s approval for the change. Source: Livemint

With the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), West Bengal’s revenue collection grew by more than 14 percent over the same period last year. As of August 30, the State had collected $173.8 million under the state GST. Source: Hindu Business Line

Best of the Rest

Assam

In a ground-breaking labor law reform, the Assam legislative assembly passed the Industrial Disputes (Assam Amendment) Bill, 2017, which allows employers with up to 300 employees to downsize without seeking prior approval from the state government. The previous cap had been 100 employees. Assam became one of only four states to amend that provision of the national Industrial Disputes Act. Source: Economic Times In Detail: Breakthrough Index: Labor Law Reform

Punjab & Jammu and Kashmir

The governments of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir formally agreed to resume work on the long-stalled Shahpur Kandi hydropower project. Source: Times of India

Nagaland

Nagaland will begin using Direct Benefit Transfer to pay wages under the national workfare program. Workers’ wages will be directly credited to their individual accounts through the National Electronic Fund Management System or Public Financial Management System. Source: North East Today

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