Earlier this week, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told corporate honchos in London that India would over the next few weeks relax sourcing norms to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the single-brand retail sector. This is a welcome follow-through on a budget announcement to that effect, and the regulatory tweak should now be expedited to allow precious foreign capital to flow into Asia’s third-largest economy. Stiff local sourcing rules have kept such companies as Apple Inc. from opening their own retail stores in India, and while their intent was to give local producers a leg up, critics have long argued that they needlessly force multinationals to drop their entry plans or rework retail models just for this market.

As things stand, India allows 100% FDI in single-brand retail, but asks foreign-owned single-brand retailers to locally procure 30% of the value of goods sold here, preferably from small and medium enterprises. Easier sourcing norms promise to lure several marquee brands aiming to sell imported products in India. The country has a higher tariff structure than most other Asian economies in any case. An excessive emphasis on domestically manufactured products being on shop shelves had meant that FDI in single-brand retail never really took off. This now ought to change. India’s Chief Economic Adviser K. Subramanian has said that the country needs sustained investments from overseas to achieve a growth rate of 8%. The best way to get those inflows is to liberalize the rules and drop burdensome conditions.