Big News: Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh announce labor and industry reforms; Karnataka announces $214.7 million package to restart the economy; A total of 10 states hike liquor prices; Punjab provides subsidy on purchase of cultivation machinery; and more.

Center – State relations

The center raised the excise duty on petrol by $0.13 and on diesel by $0.17 per liter. The change in duties will come into effect from May 6, 2020. Source: Hindustan Times In detail: Notification (Diesel), Notification (Petrol)

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a $500 million loan to aid Indian government’s COVID-19 efforts. The financing will help India strengthen its public health preparedness, and cover all states and Union Territories. Source: DNA In detail: Press Release

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has integrated 177 new mandis (marketplaces) with the National Agriculture Market to strengthen agriculture marketing. This move will help farmers in selling their produce through the online portal.

Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh government has raised prices of liquor by another 50 percent, taking the total overall hike in the price of liquor to 75 percent. Source: Business Today In detail: Press Release (In Telugu).

Bihar

Nothing critical to report this week.

New Delhi

The Delhi government has raised value added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel. As a result, petrol and diesel price in the national capital has increased by $0.02 a liter and $0.09 per liter respectively. Source: Mint In detail: Notification

Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) allows for nil consumption for commercial and industrial users during the lockdown period. The electricity bills will only account for fixed charges. Source: The Hindu Business Line In detail: DERC Order

Gujarat

The Gujarat government announced that it will allow new industrial units to not comply with labor laws, except three basic acts, for 1,200 days. Source: Mint In detail: Press Release

Gujarat extends electricity payment due date for March-April to May 30, 2020, for all consumers. Also, all Low Tension consumers have been exempted from fixed charge on their April electricity bills. Source: Indian Express In detail: Press Release

Haryana

The Haryana government will levy a Covid cess on all liquor bottles sold in the state which will vary from $0.07 to $0.66 per quart. Source: The Tribune In detail: Press Release

Karnataka

The Karnataka government announced $214.7 million relief package for working class and small businesses distressed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Also, the government has hiked excise duty on liquor by 11 percent. Source: Business Standard In detail: Chief Minister’s Tweet

Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh government has announced several reforms for industries and labor laws. Key amendments include issuance of registrations and licenses in a day instead of 30 days, and renewal of factory license for 10 years instead of one year. Source: Economic Times In detail: Circular (Shop and Establishment Act), Circular (Lok Sewa Act)

Maharashtra

Nothing critical to report this week.

Rajasthan

The state government increased the VAT on petrol to 38 percent from 36 percent earlier while on diesel there was also a slight increase to 28 percent from 27 percent earlier. Source: Deccan Herald In detail: Notification

Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu government has hiked the prices of liquor by up to $0.26 per quart as a result of 15 percent hike on Indian Made Foreign Liquor. Source: Mint In detail: Press Release (No. 314, In Tamil)

The Tamil Nadu government has set up a high-level committee headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C. Rangarajan to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggest measures to improve state’s fiscal position. Source: Economic Times In detail: Government order

Telangana

The Telangana government has decided to extend the lockdown period until May 29. Also, the government has raised the retail liquor prices by 15 percent. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release and Meet (In Telugu)

Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government has approved an ordinance that suspends 35 of the 38 labor related laws in the state for the next three years. The step is aimed at reviving various industries hit due to the national lockdown. Source: Business Standard In detail: Press Release, Page 11 (In Hindi).

The Uttar Pradesh government raised petrol and diesel prices by increasing VAT on petrol and diesel by $0.03 per liter and $0.01 per liter, respectively. Source: Mint In detail: Press Release, Page 4 (In Hindi).

The Uttar Pradesh government has increased liquor prices in the state, ranging from $0.06 to $5.33 per bottle depending upon the size and category of the drink. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release, Page 5 (in Hindi).

West Bengal

Nothing critical to report this week.

Best of the Rest

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh has decided to levy 25 percent cess on liquor from May 9, 2020. Source: Deccan Herald

Assam

The Assam government has increased the excise duty on liquor by 25 percent. Source: IndiaTV

Meghalaya

The Meghalaya government has increased the excise duty on liquor by 25 percent. Source: The Telegraph

Punjab

The Punjab government will provide subsidy of up to 50 percent on purchase of machinery used for direct sowing of paddy and mechanized cultivation of maize. Source: Economic Times In detail: Press Release

Uttarakhand

The Uttarakhand cabinet increased the price of liquor by amounts between $0.26 and $2.66 per bottle, and that of petrol and diesel by $0.01 and $0.03 per liter respectively. Source: IndiaTV