States Weekly: November 22, 2023

Big News: Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh conduct state legislative assembly elections; Arunachal Pradesh approves two hydroelectric power projects worth $4.8 billion; Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) introduces the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Distribution Open Access) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2023 to enhance green energy open access; Odisha allows transfer of land in from Scheduled Tribe (ST) citizens to non-tribal people in scheduled areas; and more.

Health 

Odisha approves the “Ama Hospital” scheme which aims to improve infrastructure and ensure sufficient manpower in the state-run healthcare facilities. The scheme will run from 2024 to 2028. Source: Hindustan Times; In detail: Cabinet Decision

Climate Change & Energy

Arunachal Pradesh approves two hydroelectric power projects worth $4.8 billion. The projects include the 3.1 GW Etalin hydroelectric project, which will be the largest project in the country, and the 680 MW Attunli hydroelectric project. The projects will be developed by the Himachal Pradesh based public sector hydro-power company, Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited. Source: Swarajya; In detail: Press release

Himachal Pradesh commits to a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) from solar units established under the state solar energy scheme. Source: The News Himachal; In detail: Press release

Delhi forms a Special Task Force (STF) to enforce regulations and assist in monitoring of air quality in light of increasing air pollution in the city. The six-member STF will assist with interdepartmental coordination and compile reports strategizing ways to tackle the poor air quality. Source: Livemint

Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) introduces the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Distribution Open Access) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2023 to enhance the green energy open access system in the state. The amendments aim to streamline processes and promote the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. Source: Solar Quarter; In detail: Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Distribution Open Access) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2023

Assam reduces the existing tax rate on Motor Vehicle Tax (non-Transport) by 2 percent with the aim to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the state. The tax reduction will be available for all EV purchases till March 31, 2025. Source: Assam Tribune

Kerala informs the Kerala Electricity Regulatory Commission that if the long term electricity contracts between the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and private sector electricity companies remain cancelled, then KSEB will have to pay a compensation of $60 million to the private electricity companies. Source: Mathrubhumi; In detail: Order

Finance

Meghalaya approves amendment to the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2006 enabling the state to increase borrowings by up to $ 48 million in the current financial year. Source: The Print; In detail: Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2006

Punjab introduces a One-Time Settlement (OTS) scheme for recovery of outstanding Goods & Services Tax (GST). The scheme will run from November 15, 2023, to March 15, 2024 and is expected to benefit traders and industrialists by reducing the burden of legacy cases and enhancing GST compliance. Source: Tribune India; In detail: Press Release

West Bengal reduces the intrastate e-way bill threshold from $1,202 to $601, to bring parity with the rest of the country, and prevent Goods & Services Tax (GST) slippage. This means that an e-way bill will be required for the movement of goods valued at over $601 within the state. The provision will come into effect from December, 2023. Source: Business Standard; In detail: GST Notification

Industrial Policy & Business Regulations  

Uttar Pradesh bans the production, storage, distribution, and sale of food products with a Halal certification with immediate effect. Products manufactured for export are not subject to the restrictions. Source: NDTV; In detail: Notification (Indian Awaaz)

Land Acquisition & Labor Regulations  

Odisha amends the Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (by STs) Regulation, 1956 to allow citizens belonging to a Scheduled Tribe (ST) to transfer their land to non-tribal people in scheduled areas with a written permission from the sub-collector. Source: Indian Express; In detail: Cabinet Decision

Infrastructure & Governance

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh conduct elections for their respective state legislative assemblies. Madhya Pradesh sees a polling percentage of 74.3 percent while Chhattisgarh sees a polling percentage of 70.6 percent. Source: Times of India; In detail: Election Commission of India Press Release

Odisha approves the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for phase 1 of the Bhubaneswar-Cuttack metro rail project. Source: Odisha TV; In detail: Cabinet Decision

Tripura receives a $100 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve urban services and tourism facilities in the state. The project aims to develop water systems by installing 42 kilometres (kms) of new transmission and distribution pipes, establishing four new water treatment plants, and improving 55 kms of stormwater drains. Source: Economic Times; In detail: ADB Press Release

Himachal Pradesh sanctions a one-time waiver of Motor Vehicle Tax as well as a one-time waiver of associated interest and penalties for old vehicles that will be scrapped at the Registered Vehicle Scrapping Facility (RVSF). Source: Business Standard; In detail: Cabinet Decision

Center – State Relations 

Nothing critical to report this week.

Any Other

Uttar Pradesh MSME cell signs a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Goa government project management unit (PMU) set up to implement the CM-CARES (Chief Minister's Coding and Robotics Education in Schools) scheme. As per the agreement, Goa will serve as a knowledge partners to the UP MSME cell. Source: Times of India

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Research Associate, Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies