Big News

Andhra Pradesh adopts the states Solar Power Policy, 2018, which outlines a goal of installing 18 GW of renewable energy by 2022; New Delhi invokes the Essential Services Maintenance Act for the supply and distribution of electricity ahead of a planned strike by electricity employees in the national capital; Jharkhand and Odisha launch new Universal Basic Income schemes for farmers in their states; the center extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for six more months; Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh complete the center’s household electrification drive within the stipulated deadline of December 31; and more.

Center – State relations

Nothing critical to report this week

Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh government released a new circular adopting the Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Policy 2018, which aims to install 18 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2021-22, develop solar parks comprising of 4 GW of energy with the necessary utility infrastructure facilities, as well as install 50,000 operational solar-powered pump sets. Source: Pv Magazine In detail: Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Policy - 2018

Indonesian pulp and paper company Asia Pulp & Paper Group announced it will invest $3.5 billion to set up India’s largest paper mill, with a capacity of 5 million tons per year, in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Times of India

Andhra Pradesh received the top rank in a report ranking Indian states according to their ease of doing business environments released by the Asia Competitiveness Institute at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Source: India Today


Nothing critical to report this week.

New Delhi

New Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act, declaring the supply and distribution of electricity as “essential” services as a pre-emptive measure ahead of a proposed strike on January 8 or 9 by the electricity employees in the national capital. Source: Business Standar

BSES Rajdhani Power Limited and BSES Yamuna Power Limited announced they have signed agreements with Solar Energy Corporation of India to procure 100 megawatts (MW) of wind-power each. The companies will receive the power beginning in FY 2020-21 for a period of 25 years at a tariff of $0.04 per unit. Source: Economic Times


The Gujarat government announced that an All India Institute of Medical Sciences will be established near Rajkot. Source: Indian Express

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has issued request for selection for the purchase of power for 500 MW of grid connected solar photovoltaic power projects to be set up in Gujarat. The capacity has been tendered in order to fulfill GUVNL’s renewable purchase obligations and to meet the future requirements of the state’s power distribution companies, or discoms. Source: Mercom  In detail: Rfs document


Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal launched the Litigation Management System, a portal designed and developed by the state government for departments, corporations, boards, and other state bodies to monitor the status of the cases related to them. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Litigation Management System Portal

In order to meet its renewable purchase obligation, the Haryana Power Purchase Center has issued a tender for 300 MW of grid-connected solar projects to be developed in the state. The bid-submission deadline is January 28, 2019, and an upper tariff ceiling of $0.043/kilowatt-hour (kWh) has been set for this tender. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

The National Thermal Power Corporation has issued a tender for the installation of smart meters for Haryana’s Faridabad township. The bid-submission deadline is January 15, 2019. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that a “Family Identity Card” or “parivar pehchan patra” would be prepared for each family in the state to ensure automatic delivery of various citizen-centric services, as well as to keep a check on corruption. Source: NDTV


The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has proposed a generic tariff of $0.042/kWh for wind projects in the state. Once the proposal is finalized, it will become the ceiling tariff for wind tenders in Karnataka for the financial year (FY) 2019-20. Source: Mercom

The Karnataka government increased taxes on petrol from 30 percent to 32 percent, and on diesel from 19 percent to 21 percent.  This is the third change in petrol and diesel tax rates since H.D. Kumaraswamy took over as chief minister of Karnataka in May 2017. Source: Live Mint

Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued a tariff order for the procurement of power from small hydro power projects in the state, setting the tariff rates at $0.085 per kWh as the first year tariff for small hydro projects below 5 MW capacity, and $0.08 per kWh as the tariff for projects with a capacity of 5 MW and above. Source: Mercom In detail: Tariff order


The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has issued a wind-solar hybrid tender which gives the developers greater freedom in project development and power capacity. The state distribution company has set a ceiling tariff of $0.039/kWh, calling interested parties to submit their bids and the capacity they want to develop. Source: Mercom

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has ordered the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited to refund excess charges collected after September 1, 2018, when a new tariff order came into force, from industry consumers. This move provides much needed relief to industrial consumers in the state. Source: Energy Infra Post

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited announced that Maharashtra has achieved 100 percent electrification. The Maharashtra government had set itself a deadline of December 31, 2018 for 100 percent electrification under the center’s Saubhagya Yojna, launched in September 2017. Source: Times of India

The Maharashtra government announced another 931 villages in the state had been classified as “drought-affected,” which will entitle them to several benefits and concessions. Source: News 18


The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued a second set of amendments to the terms and conditions for the determination of tariff for renewable energy sources, including wind and solar energy. These regulations will come into force from the date of their notification in the Official Gazette. Source: Mercom In detail: Draft amendments in RE tariff Regulations

The Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued new regulations for connectivity and net metering of rooftop and small solar grid interactive systems in the state. Source: Mercom In detail: Draft amendments in Net metering Regulations

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu wind power developers have complained to the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity that the latest tariff of $0.038 per kilowatt-hour, or unit, is too low and Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulator Commission has not taken into consideration the total cost for setting up a wind power tower. Source: Times of India


Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned an 800 MW thermal power unit for the Kothagudem Thermal Power Station within a record time of 46 months. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release

Uttar Pradesh

Vikam Solar, a Kolkata-based solar photovoltaic module manufacturer and rooftop solar provider, won a contract from the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited to install a 140 MW solar plant in Kanpur. The contract is the first step towards a planned 225 MW installation in the state. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press Release

Uttar Pradesh, considered the biggest roadblock to the center’s complete electrification program, has completed the household electrification drive within the stipulated deadline of December 31. The achievement came as a surprise because, at the beginning of December, the state had faced a daunting task of energizing 5.5 million households. Source: Economic Times

West Bengal

The West Bengal government announced two welfare initiatives for farmers under the state’s ‘Krishi Krishak Bondhu’ scheme. The first of the two initiatives will provide $2,870 to the family of a deceased farmer. Under the second initiative, farmers would get $26 twice a year for growing a single crop on one acre of land. Source: Financial Express In detail: Krishak Bandhu portal

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited said it has won an order worth $502.5 million to establish a 660 MW supercritical thermal power plant in West Bengal. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press release

The West Bengal government announced that employees will receive a dearness allowance at 125 percent of their basic pay from January 2019. Source: Economic Times

Best of the Rest


The center has set up a high-level committee to assess the implementation of Clause Six of the Assam Accord, which mainly insists for the reservation and safe guarding of ethnic Assam population. The rationale behind this move is to assess the number of seats to be reserved in the Assam Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people. Source: Daily Pioneer

State-run oil company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation said it will pump in $863.4 million  to drill 200 wells over the next seven years in Assam in order to increase oil output from the state. Source: Money Control


Jharkhand has launched a universal basic income scheme for farmers in the state, paying farmers a total of $71.95 per acre every year to the over 2,276,000 small and marginal farmers, at an estimated annual cost of $323.7 million, starting April 2019. Source: Financial Express

Jammu and Kashmir

The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued a tender to build 7.5-gigawatt of solar power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, as part of a larger plan to build 23 gigawatts of solar capacity in Ladakh, a region in the country’s extreme north bordering China.  Source: Economic Times In detail: Tender details


The Goods and Services Tax ministerial panel, led by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, approved a proposal by Kerala to add a one percent ‘calamity cess’ to the state’s goods and services tax for a period of two years to fund rehabilitation work in the state hit by floods. Source: Economic Times


The center extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland for six more months until July 2019, arguing that the whole state is in such “disturbed and dangerous condition” that the use of armed forces in aid of civil power is necessary. Under the AFSPA, security forces have the powers to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior notice. Source: Indian Express

The Nagaland government’s Social Welfare Department has implemented the maternity benefit scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). The scheme includes a conditional cash transfer under Direct Benefit Transfer scheme of $720 for pregnant women and lactating mothers of 19 years of age and above for their ‘first live birth.’ Source: North East Today


Odisha has launched a universal basic income scheme, providing small and marginal farmers with an annual payment of $143.27/acre for three years. The scheme’s cost is estimated at $1.43 billion over three years. Source: Financial Express

Aditya Birla Renewables Ltd, part of the Aditya Birla Group, signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Odisha’s power trader Gridco to develop a 75 MW solar power plant in the state. The company offered the lowest bid of $0.04 per kilowatt-hour, or unit, in response to a 200 MW solar power tender floated by Gridco. Source: Business Standard


Nearly two years after coming to power, the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in Punjab is set to implement a key election promise of distributing smartphones among the youth of the state. The state cabinet approved the modalities for the distribution of smartphones, with graduating students of government schools, colleges and technical institutions to be covered in the first phase of the scheme. Source: The Tribune

Punjab health and family welfare minister Brahm Mohindra announced that blood will be provided free of cost in government hospitals across the state, and that the government will ensure that blood is available around the clock in all the hospitals. Source: The Tribune

The Punjab Council of Ministers, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, approved a one-time settlement of non-compoundable violations in the case of unauthorized construction projects that have come up in the state until June 30, 2018. Source: Punjab News Express In detail: The Punjab One-Time Voluntary Disclosure and Settlement of Violations of the Buildings Ordinance, 2018


The Uttarakhand cabinet approved various relaxations of regulations for construction of residential and commercial buildings in the state, as well as a plan to vest municipal corporations in the state with “unlimited” financial powers, legally empowering them to approve all projects regardless of cost. Source: Hindustan Times