Finance Minister rules out gold import ban; urges people to moderate demand

Greece’s former finance minister should be prosecuted, lawmakers say

Former socialist Finance minister George Papaconstantinou at the Greek Parliament in Athens on January 17, 2013.

Gold imports in June are estimated to have fallen to around 31 tonnes, down from 162 tonnes in May and 141 tonnes in April. To curb demand, the government hiked the import duty on gold thrice in a year and raised it recently by 2 per cent, to 8 per cent. Besides, RBI too, has put restrictions on banks on importing gold. India is the largest importer of gold and is mainly utilised to meet demand of the jewellery industry.

Papaconstantinou served as finance minister from October 2009 to June 2011, and was finance minister when Greece negotiated its first international bailout. Dominique Strauss-Kahn on austerity Greece secures bailout deal with Troika Because he is a lawmaker, Parliament has to approve the lifting of immunity before any prosecution can proceed. In a secret ballot late Monday, 220 deputies in the 300-seat Parliament voted in favor of the former minister being prosecuted for at least one charge, and 166 for all three. Seventeen deputies were absent.

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