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(Reuters) — The Indian government is considering exemptions sought by Apple for setting up a unit to assemble iPhones, Ramesh Abhishek, the top bureaucrat in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, said on Thursday.

The department is a part of India’s commerce and industry ministry.

Apple has asked federal government officials for a range of tax and policy changes to help build out its iPhone assembly work in India.

It is seeking permission to open its own retail stores in India where it currently sells iPhones through resellers.

India has given Chinese smartphone maker Oppo the go-ahead to open its own single-brand retail stores, boding well for rivals like Apple, which are seeking similar approvals.

(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Editing by Malini Menon)

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