Advocacy Win – Food and Drink reform in the State of Maharashtra

By Shubhi Mishra

UKIBC led a delegation of UK businesses to the ‘CM Roundtable’ in the State of Maharashtra, resulting in direct intervention from the Chief Minister of the State, which subsequently developed into several deliberations between the State Government and the UK F&D companies.

In a record time of around 6 months, UKIBC F&D member companies reported a policy win, where the special committee to improve Ease of Doing Business established relaxation in around 80 percent of the ask list as presented by the members, conceding positive reforms. The industry reported this to be a monumental victory and is eager to see such forward-looking engagement with other states too.

With an objective to showcase increased effort to improve the connections between UK businesses and the state of Maharashtra to increase investment, jobs, and economic growth, and to enable detailed discussion on the ease of doing business, UKIBC signed an MoU with the Government of Maharashtra last year in January 2019. UKIBC in its endeavour to facilitate trade and investment through collaboration, information sharing, and smoothing investor interactions in respective market, led delegation of the UK companies to the ‘CM Roundtable’ during ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ event of 2019.

During the roundtable UKIBC members including those from the Food and Drink sector presented their concerns around Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), which were proactively received by the Chief Minister himself, resulting in a EoDB special committee.  The continued engagement and deliberations led to massive reforms for the spirits sector in the state, which can be exemplary for other states.  UKIBC is committed to continue with such meaningful and sustained engagements to benefit the UK India trade ties.

The outcome indicated better mutual understanding of priorities and policies, the ability to address general and specific ease of doing business issues; and, for the State Governments, build a strong understanding of investors’ needs, thus enabling each State to better promote itself as an investor destination. The UK will remain one of India’s most important economic partners, and at the same time, India continues to be a crucial contributor to the UK’s economic activity.

UK spirit businesses are hugely invested in the State of Maharashtra and as per UKIBC’s Doing Business in India Report for 2019, for which Maharashtra came out on top as the most improved state according to UK companies and as the state that most companies are looking to expand in the next twelve months, such immense and quick reforms encourage UK businesses not only to invest more in the state but to create a positive socio-economic impact.




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