Big News

Haryana cuts the upfront payment for electricity connections by 95 percent, while Maharashtra cracks down on deadbeat power consumers; Punjab hopes to convert crop stubble into bio-mass energy; Rajasthan anti-conversion bill returned once again by the center; Tamil Nadu finds its solar power producers too efficient; and more.

Center-State relations

Nothing critical to report this week

Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh government formally approved the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor development program at a cost of $490 million, including $381 million in loans and grants from the Asian Development Bank. The project has four components: internal infrastructure and industrial clusters, water supply and climate change resilience, roads and road safety measures, and power transmission and distribution. Source: The Hindu


Nothing critical to report this week

New Delhi

Nothing critical to report this week


Nothing critical to report this week


Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a new policy under which domestic power connections in any rural area of the state will require an up-front payment of just $3. The balance of the cost, $43 to $58, can be paid in installments of $1.50 to $3. Currently consumers have to pay the entire cost up front. Source: NDTV

Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited has bought 1 million networked power meters and plans to install them across the state in coming months to facilitate the switch to pre-paid power access. Consumers will pay in advance for electricity and can refill their balance just as they recharge cell phone minutes. The state will also eliminate the charge for paying electricity. Pre-paid consumers will also be exempt from fees for paying electricity bills online. Source: Times of India


The Karnataka Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a bill to prevent and eradicate "inhuman evil practices." The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017 is intended to prevent exploitation of state residents by those purporting to practice black magic. Source: Money Control

The Legislative Council approved two bills already passed by the Legislative Assembly: the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority Bill, 2017, which creates the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority and the Karnataka State Road Safety Council to implement road safety programs; and a bill requiring for all private establishments and public spaces that have traffic of more than 500 people per day to install CCTV cameras. Source: The Hindu, Economic Times

The Karnataka government announced launch of a $6 million center of excellence for data science and artificial intelligence, with Nasscom as its program and implementation partner. Source: Hindu Business Line

Madhya Pradesh

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan unveiled the Madhya Pradesh Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Policy, 2017. The new policy includes a 40 percent government subsidy on investment in plant and machinery by MSMEs. The State government also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the central Government E-Market, an e-commerce portal for conducting government procurement. Source: Indian Express, Knn India In Detail: MSME Policy 2017

The Madhya Pradesh cabinet approved a new sand mining policy under which two thirds of current sand mines in the state would be handed over to the control of village councils. Any member of the public will be able to extract sand from these mines upon displaying a receipt for payment of $2 per cubic meter. The remaining mines have been allotted through auction. Source: Money Control


The center approved 'in principle' an assistance plan of $1.5 billion to fund 107 irrigation projects in drought-hit Vidarbha and Maratha regions of Maharashtra. Fadnavis said the completion of the projects will ensure large scale irrigation facilities in the districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada. Source: Money Control

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited has cut off power connections to over 96,000 non-agricultural consumers in the state. The state is also threatening a similar action against agricultural consumers with huge arrears. Source: Indian Express


A Religious Freedom Bill—first passed by the Rajasthan Assembly in 2008—that bans forced conversion was once again returned for "further clarifications" by the Union government. Source: The Hindu

Tamil Nadu

Solar developers are protesting the Tamil Nadu government's decision not to pay for additional power they produce by achieving higher efficiencies. The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Co. has decided not to pay for the excess power generated by any solar plant which exceeds a capacity utilisation factor of 19 percent. Producers claim the decision has already cost them over $15 million. Source: Economic Times


The state Legislative Assembly passed a bill making Urdu the second official language in the state. Once the bill becomes law, all state government correspondence and other orders will have to be issued both in Telugu and Urdu. Source: The Hans India, Times of India In Detail: Bill Text

Uttar Pradesh

Nothing critical to report this week

West Bengal

Nothing critical to report this week

Best of the Rest


In a step towards curbing stubble burning, which annually creates large-scale air pollution in northern India, the Punjab government signed an MOU with a Chennai-based company to build 400 processing plants to convert paddy straw into bio energy. The plants will become operational before the next crop-burning season. Source: Hindustan Times


In a push to expand IT incubation space and encourage startup ventures, the Kerala government will allow private entities, as well as national and global agencies, to set up incubators and accelerators in the state. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led government has also decided to revise the state IT policy to align with the national Startup India campaign, providing greater incentives to start-ups in Kerala. Source: First Post


Odisha's rooftop solar power pilot will now allow for net metering. Under the pilot program, introduced in August by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission, consumers will not pay for any of the solar power produced by their rooftop panel as long as it does not surpass 90 percent of the total electricity consumed by the consumer annually. Source: Odisha TV