The Indian government has turned down a request by Apple to import and sell used iPhone devices in a setback to the tech pionner which has been looking to shore up its sagging sales across the world.

Apple declined to comment on the development, Bloomberg reported citing telecommunication ministry sources. Apple had planned to boost its sales in the price-conscious Indian market by importing used iPhones.

For phonemakers some markets have either saturated or are growing slowly as far as the sales are concerned. But there is one market that is still growing quite fast. India is that market. India is so special that even Apple can't afford to ignore it anymore.

Recently Apple's earnings came out and all we know is that its sales have dropped. We also heard its CEO saying (read: blaming) lack of LTE coverage in the country for the low sales of iPhone.

Apple's pricing of its iPhone in India is exorbitant, to say the least, whereas the Indian market is price conscious. That is why Apple was planning to sell refurbished iPhone in the country. Such phones could have come with a pocket-friendly price tag and boosted Apple's market share. Apparently, Apple's plan to do so has hit a dead end as India's telecommunication ministry has rejected the company's proposal.

The Indian government is currently encouraging the 'Make in India' program. It plans to make the country a manufacturing hub. Apple's rival are said to be behind the decision with claims that Apple's move will make India a dump yard for used electronics and defeat Make in India initiative.