Update on India’s States: September 6, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Post Payments Bank; President Ram Nath Kovind approved two land amendment bills in Gujarat; a rooftop solar tender in Madhya Pradesh received India’s lowest bid of $0.02 per kilowatt-hour; Assam extended the application of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 in the state for six more months; and more.

Center – State relations

Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), the World Bank, and the government of India have signed a $220-million loan agreement and a $80-million guarantee agreement for the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Programme. EESL will implement the program, which is aimed at scaling the deployment of energy-saving measures in the residential and public sectors. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release

The empowered committee on stressed power assets met for the first time on September 31, and discussed possible changes in fuel allocation policies and in regulatory frameworks. The committee also discussed how to resolve irregular payments from distribution companies, but was unable to make significant headway as there was no participation from the Reserve Bank of India. Source: Financial Express

The center and the six north Indian states and union territories of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Haryana, New Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the construction of Lakhwar multi-purpose dam project worth $560 million in the Upper Yamuna basin in Uttarakhand. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) that aims “to change the banking system in the country.” IPPB will create the country’s largest banking network with a direct presence at the village level, and  will offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfers, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

J.P. Nadda, the minister for health and family welfare, announced that “29 states and union territories (UTs) have signed the MOU and have started working on implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna. The pilots have started in 16 States/UTs. Other states/UTs will also start pilots before fully launching the scheme on 25 September.” Source: Medical Dialogues In detail: Press Release

Google announced a partnership with the Andhra Pradesh State Fiber Net Ltd to expand Internet access to more than 12,000 villages, benefiting around 10 million people. Google also rebranded its ‘Tez’ digital payments app as ‘Google Pay’ as part of its efforts to make the app more accessible online and to retail merchants across the country. Source: Live Mint  In detail: Press Release

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, has invited Andhra Pradesh to sign an MOU to improve capacity building and enhance energy efficiency of power distribution companies in the state. Source: The Hindu

Nothing critical to report this week.

The Delhi government has ordered the restoration of 253,000 ration cards, which it alleges were canceled by Delhi’s Food Commissioner, and warned officers that they will be ‘personally responsible’ for starvation deaths of eligible beneficiaries. Source: Economic Times

The Delhi government will launch “doorstep delivery of services” from September 10, allowing citizens of the union territory to obtain an income or caste certificate, driver’s license, or pension without making the rounds of government offices. Source: NDTV

The government of Gujarat granted industry status to information technology (IT) and information technology-enabled services (ITES), enabling companies working in the sector to receive various government incentives on land acquisition and lower power tariffs at par with sectors like manufacturing. Source: Elets

President Ram Nath Kovind approved two land amendment bills in Gujarat — the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The bills propose that surplus agriculture land meant for landless farmers should instead be given to industries and civic bodies. Source: The Hindu

ReNew Power said that the first phase of its 250 megawatt (MW) wind project located in Kutch district of Gujarat has been commissioned. This project is part of India’s first wind power reverse auction that was concluded by Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) in February last year under the 1000 MW Inter-State Transmission System. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that now every Zila Parishad (district council) will have an independent chief executive officer to work exclusively for the Zila Parishad. The decision is aimed at strengthen democratic systems at the grassroot level in the state by decentralizing powers to the Panchayati Raj Institutions and local bodies, as well as ensuring their active participation in the development process. Source: The Statesman

India signed a $346 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance improvement of over 248 miles (400 kilometers) of state highways that will enhance connectivity and access to economic centers across 12 districts in Karnataka. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Bangalore Chamber of Industries & Commerce has offered to partner with Bangalore Electricity Supply Company to support the establishment of Electric Vehicle Charging Points in Bengaluru. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

A recent tender floated by Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited for the development of 35 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar received the lowest bid in India, coming in at $0.02/kilowatt-hour from Power Grid Corporation of India. While the rate is low, there is a caveat that the first year tariffs quoted in this auction are set to escalate by 3 percent per year over a period of 25 years. Source: Mercom

The ADB signed a $375 million loan agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government aimed at doubling farming income by expanding irrigation networks and system efficiency. The Madhya Pradesh Irrigation Efficiency Improvement Project will develop 1,25,000 hectares of new, highly efficient and climate resilient irrigation networks, and improve water use efficiency in more than 400 villages, benefiting over 800,000 people in the state. Source: Money Control In detail: Press Release

The governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, as well as the Ministries of Railways and Shipping signed an MOU to establish a non-government railway line between Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Manmad, Maharashtra for $1.2 billion. The project will be executed by the Indian Port Rail Corporation, and will link Indore with the  Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, India’s largest container port. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company has invited expressions of interest to develop 100 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic projects at Chandrapur, Maharashtra. The projects will be located at the ash bund lagoon 1 and 2 near Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS). Source: Mercom In detail: EOI document

The Maharashtra government has revised farm loan waiver norms, which will increase the number of beneficiaries and will cost the state an additional $70 million. Source: Economic Times

The Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals, a joint venture comprising Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Saudi Aramco, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, plans to build the of the world’s largest integrated refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex at Babulwadi, Maharashtra. The 60-million tons a year refinery is estimated to cost $50 billion, and U.S.-based consultant Jacobs Engineering Group has been hired to draft the configuration of the plant. Source: The Hindu Business Line

The World Bank signed an agreement with the government of India and the government of Rajasthan to provide the state government a $250 million loan to improve the performance of its electricity distribution sector. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press Release

Nothing critical to report this week.

Nasscom’s Center of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Cyber Security will start operating in Kukatpally from November. The Telangana government had signed an MOU with Nasscom in February to establish the center. Source: Deccan Chronicle


Energy Minister Srikant Sharma announced that the Uttar Pradesh government will install ‘smart’ electronic meters in the urban areas of the state for free. The meters will ensure error-free electricity bills, curb power theft, and will allow consumers to keep a track of their power usage via a smartphone application. Source: Financial Express

The Uttar Pradesh government tabled its first supplementary budget of $4.9 billion for FY2018-19 in the Legislative Assembly to meet the additional expenditure for the year.  Earlier this year in February, the government had passed a budget of $60 billion. Source: Economic Times

The Asian Development Bank board has approved a financing package totalling $245 million to provide safe, sustainable, and inclusive drinking water service to about 1.65 million people in three districts of West Bengal affected by arsenic, fluoride, and salinity. Source: Business World In detail: Press Release

Best of the Rest

Arunachal Pradesh

The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly passed the Arunachal Pradesh Re-Organisation of Districts (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which created of three new districts, Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada, and Shi Yomi, in the state. Arunachal Pradesh now has 22 districts. Source: NDTV


The Assam government extended the application of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in the state for six more months with immediate effect. The act gives special rights and immunity to security forces in carrying out various operations in “disturbed” areas. Source: India Today


The Department of Employment, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship representing the state government of Nagaland signed an MOU with the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC). The agreement focuses on developing an employment-oriented skilling ecosystem in Nagaland, bringing best practices in the areas of skilling, entrepreneurship and other areas of mutual interest, and utilizing technology solutions to enable skilled citizens to find suitable employment opportunities. Source: Morung Express


In a bid to eradicate malaria from Odisha, the state government signed an MOU with two U.S.-based agencies – Malaria No More and Malaria Elimination Trust – to help the state government prepare a strategy on how to overcome the disease. Source: Business Standard In detail: U.S. agency portal – Odisha program

The National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC), under the Ministry of MSME, signed two MOUs, one with Rourkela Steel Plant and another with National Scheduled Tribe Finance Development Corporation,  to enhance the skills of Odisha youths. Source: Business Standard


The state cabinet approved the Punjab Custom Milling of Paddy Policy (Kharif 2018-19) to ensure proper procurement of the produce from farmers and delivery of rice into the central pool from more than 3,710 mills across the state. Source: Times of India In detail: Press Release

The state government signed an MOU with Amazon Internet Services to establish the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University to enable Punjab students to develop cloud computing skills and practical expertise in new technologies. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release

With the falling temperatures leading to a reduction in power demand, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has surplus power that it plans to sell to other states. The power utility has floated tenders to sell 6,000 MW power from November 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. Source: Hindustan Times

The Punjab state has drafted a two-year plan to prevent crop burning, which includes measures such as spending $93.75 million on providing straw management machinery at an 80 percent subsidy to the cooperative societies and other groups, and at a 50 percent subsidy to individual farmers. The government has also signed MOUs with four major companies to set up bio-compressed natural gas, ethanol, and biogas plants using the crop residue. Source: Times of India


Ganga Prasad was sworn in as the 16th governor of Sikkim at a function held at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok. Justice Meenakshi M Rai, acting chief justice of theHigh Court of Sikkim, administered the oath of office to Prasad. Source: First Post


Baby Rani Maurya was sworn in today as the new governor of Uttarakhand. The oath of office and secrecy was administered to Maurya by the acting Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court Rajiv Sharma at a ceremony held at Raj Bhawan. Source: Economic Times


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