Update on India’s States: September 25, 2019

Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam have worst malnutrition levels; Gujarat amends Solar Power Policy 2015 to expand solar use by MSMEs; Himachal Pradesh simplifies process for non-residents to acquire land; New Solar Energy Policy, 2019 in Rajasthan and Electric Vehicle Policy in Tamil Nadu; Telangana signed a new sister-state cleantech agreement with New Jersey; Manipur and Mizoram assemblies each passed legislation that bars non-residents from settling in the states; and more.

Center – State relations

Union Home Minister Amit Shah chaired the Northern Zonal Council meeting in Chandigarh. Source: Live Mint  In detail: Press Release

A study, published by Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, stated that Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Assam have the highest malnutrition levels in the country, while Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the lowest disease burden. Source: The Hindu Business Line  In detail: The Lancet

Power Minister RK Singh has asked Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy not to revisit power purchase agreements, as this behavior sends the wrong signal to investors and jeopardizes India’s commitment to climate change. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has signed a file related to the cancellation of bauxite mining lease in 3,030 acres of land allocated to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC). Source: New Indian Express

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nothing critical to report this week.

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and deputy chief minister Nitin Patel announced changes in the Gujarat Solar Power Policy, 2015 to ensure that the medium and small scale Industries (MSME) sector is able to reap benefits of solar energy. Energy Minister Saurabh Patel said MSME in Gujarat can now set up solar installations with a capacity of more than 100 percent compared to the previous limit of 50 percent. Source: News18 In detail: Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2015

NTPC will not undertake any new coal-based generation for the next few years as part of measures to reduce its carbon footprint and has decided to invest about $3.5 billion to set up one of the world’s largest solar parks at Kutch in Gujarat. Source: Economic Times 

The Election Commission announced the dates for Assembly polls in Haryana. The elections in the state will be held on October 21. Votes will be counted on October 24. Source: New18 In detail: Press note

Bowing to pressure from some party leaders and the general public, the BJP government in Karnataka announced the reduction of some traffic fines by 50 percent to 80 percent, but penalties for drunken driving and racing remain unchanged. Source: Times of India

SolarArise India and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals have recently announced the successful commissioning of their solar power projects with a combined 47 megawatt (MW) capacity in Karnataka and Gujarat. Source: Sau Energy

The state government of Madhya Pradesh has decided to impose a five percent value added tax on liquor, petrol and diesel to generate additional funds needed to meet the crisis caused by heavy rains. Source: Deccan Herald

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced the schedule of polls to elect 288 members of the legislative assembly. The last date for nomination is October 4, the state will vote on October 21 and counting will take place on October 24. Source: News 18 In detail: Press note

The Rajasthan government, through the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited, has launched its Solar Energy Policy 2019. The policy aims to deploy 25 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy capacity in the state by 2020-2021 and 50 GW over the next 5-6 years in order to meet the renewable purchase obligations of distribution companies. Source: Mercom In detail: Rajasthan Solar Energy Policy, 2019

Tata Power said its subsidiary Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL) has commissioned a 150 MW solar capacity project at Pokharan in Rajasthan. The overall operating renewable capacity of TPREL now stands at 2,628 MW in India, Tata Power said. Source: Economic Times

The state government announced a new “Tamil Nadu Electric Vehicle Policy 2019” which provides incentives for electric vehicles including a wavier of some permit fees and taxes until 2022 Source: Urban Transport News In detail: Press Release Official Policy Document: EV Policy

Tamil Nadu government inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation over fecal sludge treatment plants in corporations, municipalities, and town panchayats across the state with financial assistance of $3.61 million during the next two years. Source: The Hindu

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has said that the Telangana government has overstated its revenue surplus for 2017-18 by $525.5 million and understated its fiscal deficit by $134 million. “This was a result of misclassifications, non-contribution to statutory funds and classifying subsidies as loans,” said the report, which was submitted to the state assembly. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The U.S.-India State and Urban Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) facilitated a dialogue between the governments of New Jersey and Telangana to bolster clean tech cooperation between the two states. During New Jersey governor Phil Murphy’s visit to Telangana, the two states signed a sister-state agreement, which included partnerships in a wide range of sectors. Source: The Hindu In Detail: CSIS Press Release

The Telangana legislative assembly passed a unanimous resolution urging the center not to allow uranium mining operations in the Nallamala forest region of the state. Source: News18

 The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Electricity Regulatory Commission approved tariff and power purchase agreements for procuring 500 MW of solar power by UP Power Corporation Limited and the state power distribution companies. The capacity of approved solar projects ranges between 20 MW and 140 MW, while the approved tariffs lie between $0.044 per unit to $0.045 per unit, which is the lowest power procurement price approved by the commission for solar power projects in the state. Source: Business Standard

The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency has issued a request for proposal for the procurement of 500 MW of power from grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects and for the setting up of grid-connected rooftop solar projects worth 60 MW. Source: Mercom, Sau Energy In  detail: Rfp document, Tender document

Nothing critical to report this week.

Best of the Rest 

Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh government made amendments to the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust Rules, 2015 to make it more inclusive and empower people affected by mining in the state. The new rule mandates the inclusion of 10 Gram Sabha members directly from mining-affected areas in the DMF Governing Council. In Scheduled Areas, at least 50 percent of the Gram Sabha members must be from Scheduled Tribes. Source: Down to Earth In detail: District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Trust Rules, 2015

Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur rolled out an online portal for granting permissions under Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, 1972. Source: India TV

In an effort to make the state litter-free, the Himachal cabinet approved a draft policy to buy back non-recyclable plastic waste. The draft policy will be implemented soon, whereby plastic would be purchased at a minimum support price by urban local bodies in the state. Source: Money Control

Jammu and Kashmir

In a major power push for Jammu and Kashmir, Union Power Minister RK Singh inaugurated 15 projects and launched work on 20 others in an attempt to ensure electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Jammu and Srinagar before winter. Source: India Today

Kerala

The Kerala government has decided to go ahead with its efforts to reduce traffic fines as much as possible within the legal ambit of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. Source: The Hindu 

Mizoram

Manipur and Mizoram assemblies have passed legislation that bar non-residents from settling in the states. The move follows apprehension that there will be an exodus from Assam after the National Register of Citizens has been compiled. Even as the two bills await Presidential assent, Nagaland has taken up with the Union Home Ministry its plan of compiling a register of indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland. Source: Economic Times

Punjab

Ahead of the upcoming paddy harvest season, the Punjab cabinet led by Captain Amarinder Singh approved the Punjab Custom Milling Policy for Paddy (Kharif 2019-20), with more security provisions, including criminal penalty for diversion of rice. The scheme is aimed at ensuring seamless milling of paddy and smooth delivery of rice to the central pool from more than 4,000 mills operating in the state. Source: Economic Times

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand high court has passed an order which makes employees of the state government ineligible for maternity leave after their second child. In delivering the order, the double bench of Chief Justices Ramesh Ranganathan and Alok Kumar Verma set aside an earlier order passed in July 2018 by a single bench of the high court. Source: Times of India 

The Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved the extension of benchmark capital cost and generic tariff for the financial year 2019-20 for upcoming solar projects of 52 MW in the state. The commission has made it clear that there will be no extension beyond the cumulative capacity of 52 MW. Source: Mercom

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