Big News

Kerala releases finalized Electric Vehicle Policy, Punjab waives outstanding electricity bills for 150,000 consumers; Tamil Nadu releases new integrated textile policy; a 1,000 MW solar auction in Gujarat receives no bids; Madhya Pradesh approves proposal to nearly double reservation quotas for Other Backward Classes from 14 percent to 27 percent; Haryana approves amendments to the Haryana Solar Power Policy – 2016; Rajasthan waives water charges for consumers in the state; Andhra Pradesh proposes reducing the average length of the power purchase agreement from 25 years to five years; and more.

Center – State relations

The central government approved investment proposals worth over $4.5 billion in power projects, including two coal-based thermal plants in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, as well as a hydro project on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release (Kurja Super Thermal Power plant), Press Release (Buxar Thermal Power Project), and Press Release (Kiru Hydroelectric project on Chenab river)

The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued two tenders for the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The first tender is to set up 1,200 megawatts (MW) of solar power projects in Madhya Pradesh. The second tender is to set up 200 MW of grid-connected solar power projects in Andhra Pradesh. Source: Mercom In detail: Press Release (Andhra Pradesh), Press Release (Madhya Pradesh)

The World Bank and the government of India signed a $250-million agreement for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP), a program to support women in rural households in developing viable enterprises for farm and non-farm products. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: Press release

The World Bank has provided additional financing of $137 million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project to rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams in six states. The dams are located in Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttarakhand. Source: Times Now In detail: Press Release

The Election Commission of India announced the dates for India’s general elections, which will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases across 543 parliamentary constituencies. State assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Sikkim will occur at the same time, while assembly elections for Jammu & Kashmir will be held later. Results of the election will be announced on May 23. Source: Economic Times In detail: Election Commission Press Release

Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission has proposed reducing the average length of the power purchase agreement from 25 years to five years. The proposed decision has alarmed industry, who has argued that such a short contract length will lower tariffs, while state distribution companies support the move, allowing them to take advantage of lower tariffs offered by newer plants. Source: Economic Times In detail: APERC letter


The Bihar cabinet increased the dearness allowance for state government employees and pensioners by three percent. The cabinet also approved a proposal by the Home Department to install CCTVs in Patna district, under the Safe City Surveillance project. Source: NDTV

New Delhi

The Union Cabinet approved three out of six corridors of the Delhi Metro’s proposed phase IV, which will further improve connectivity in the national capital. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission has approved a power sale agreement between Solar Energy Corporation of India and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited to procure power at a tariffs rate of $0.078 (Rs. 5.50) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) from 20 MW of solar PV projects. Source: Mercom In detail: Power Sale Agreement


The Gujarat government released a small scale distribution solar project policy for producers of 500 KW to up to 4 MW. Source: Economic Times In detail: Policy for Development of Small Scale Distributed Solar Projects - 2019

The center approved the construction of two new corridors of the Surat Metro project, which will be executed at an estimated cost of around $1.71 billion. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

In a setback for Gujarat’s renewable energy drive, its latest solar auction of 1,000 MW got no bids at all, because developers reportedly felt the ceiling tariff of $0.039 (Rs. 2.75) was too low. The auction has now been postponed to March 19. Source: Economic Times In detail: Original Request for Selection for 1,000 MW and Notice of Postponement of Auction


The Haryana cabinet approved amendments to the Industrial Licensing Policy, 2015, offering incentives for the warehousing industry. Currently, the warehousing activities are restricted to 10 percent in an industrial township. Now, in any industrial colony, the entire colony may be developed for warehousing. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

The Haryana government decided to refund stamp duties of $285 million to small and marginal farmers and weaker sections of society. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

The Haryana cabinet approved amendments to the Haryana Solar Power Policy - 2016. Under the amendment, wheeling and transmission charges will be exempted for 10 years from the date of commissioning for all captive solar power projects which have submitted applications for registration of project, purchased land, or have taken land on lease for 30 years. Source: United News of India In detail: Press Release


Nothing critical to report this week.

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel approved the ordinance to nearly double the reservation quota for Other Backward Classes from 14 percent to 27 percent. Source: Business Today

The Madhya Pradesh government announced additional support of $2.28 per 100 kilograms, or quintal, for wheat in addition to the $26.52 minimum support price announced by the central government. Source: Indian Express


The Maharashtra cabinet release a new Industrial Policy for the state, incentivizing companies to construct residential complexes for their employees on the same land by promising additional floor space to industries who make it easy for employees to walk to work. Source: The Hindu In detail: Press Release (in Marathi)

The Maharashtra cabinet granted in-principle approval for the establishment of two more 660 MW coal-based supercritical plants at the Koradi Thermal Power Station. Source: Money Control In detail: Press Release (in Marathi)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved Phase-IIIA of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, which is estimated to cost $4.8 billion over five years. Source: Money Control In detail: Press Release

The government released the Maharashtra Early Childhood Care and Education Policy 2018, under which all pre-schools for children till six years of age will be regulated by the state government. Source: Times of India

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced it will provide a loan of $926 million (around Rs 6,500 crore), which is the single largest infrastructure project loan provided by ADB, to operationalize two lines of the Mumbai Metro Rail System. Source: Daily News Analysis In detail: Press Release


Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has announced that no water charges will be collected for the supplies up to 40 liters per person per day in rural areas of the state. In urban areas, the government will not collect water, sewerage, and development charges for flat-rate connections, or for domestic metered connections that consume up to 15 kiloliters per month. Source: India Today

In an auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India for 750 MW of solar capacity in Rajasthan, bidders such as Acme, Fortum, Palimarwar, and Sitara bagged projects quoting low tariffs at $0.035 per kilowatt-hour, or unit. Source: Times of India

Tamil Nadu

The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued a tender for utilization of water bodies in Tamil Nadu for development of 250 MW floating solar PV capacity. Source: Mercom In detail: Tender details

The state-owned Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) commissioned 200 MW of grid-connected solar projects in the state of Tamil Nadu. NLC had commissioned 300 MW in May 2018 for the same tranche of projects. Source: Mercom

The Tamil Nadu government unveiled a new integrated textile policy to achieve higher and sustainable growth in the textile value chain. Handlooms and textile minister O.S. Manian said “The new policy is aimed at attracting youth and to provide a range of subsidies to support the sector to make it more vibrant.” Source: Times of India In detail: Tamil Nadu New Integrated Textile Policy 2019


Nothing critical to report this week.

Uttar Pradesh

Following the acquisition of a 75 percent stake in the Bara power plant by Resurgent Power Ventures, the plant will reduce electricity charges to the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation by $0.005 per unit under a revised power purchase agreement, which will translate into savings of $71.31 million annually. Source: Money Control

The Union Cabinet recently approved a proposed Kanpur Metro Rail Project. Source: Financial Express In detail: Press Release

West Bengal

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the construction of a third railway line between Narayangarh in West Bengal and Bhadrak in Odisha. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

Best of the Rest


To improve the drainage infrastructure of Dibrugarh in Assam, the government of India and the ADB signed a $26 million loan agreement to finance the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme. Source: North East Now In detail: Project details - Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program


The government of India, the state government of Chhattisgarh, and the World Bank signed a $25.2 Million loan agreement to support the state’s reforms in expenditure management. Source: Devdiscourse In detail: Press Release


The Kerala state cabinet amended and approved a finalized Electric Vehicle policy for the state. Source: Business Standard In detail: Kerala Electric Vehicle Policy


The Meghalaya cabinet decided to hand over two hydroelectric power projects owned by the state to North Eastern Electric Power Corporation. Source: North East Now

The Union Cabinet approved the construction of the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge over the Brahmaputra, which, when completed, will become India’s longest bridge. Source: The Print In detail: Press Release


Governor Jagdish Mukhi of Assam took additional charge of the state of Mizoram. Source:

The Mizoram cabinet approved legislation proposing the prohibition of liquor in the state. The bill will now be introduced in the state assembly during the Budget session starting from March 20. Source: Money Control


The Odisha government approved a proposal by Haldia Petrochemicals Limited to set up an integrated refinery with an aromatics complex for the production of paraxylene and purified terepthalic acid in Balasore district. The estimated investment on the project is approximately $4.05 billion (Rs. 28,700 crore). Source: The Hindu Business Line


The Punjab cabinet approved an amendment to the Punjab Goods & Services Tax (GST) Act 2017 to choose between receiving net GST incentives, or receiving reimbursements for state GST. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release

The Punjab government decided to waive outstanding electricity bills for families belonging to scheduled castes, backward classes, or those who are below the poverty line. The decision will benefit over 150,000 consumers and will cost $49.9 million to the state. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release


The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for the National Hydro Power Corporation to invest and acquire the M/s Lanco Teesta Hydro Power Limited and execute the balance work for the Teesta Stage-Vl HE Project. Source: North East Now In detail: Press Release


The World Bank, the government of India, and the government of Uttarakhand signed a $96 million agreement to provide additional funds to the state in its post disaster recovery plans and strengthen its capacity for disaster risk management as part of the Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project. Source: Daily Pioneer In detail: Press Release