DHAKA: The United States (US) Sunday expressed deep concern over Bangladesh government’s actions to establish more control over Grameen Bank (GB).
The US government also called upon the government to respect the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the micro-lender.
In a press statement, Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesperson, Office of Press Relations of the US Department of State, said the US is deeply concerned about recent actions the government of Bangladesh has taken to give the government-appointed chairman of the Grameen Bank Board control over the selection of the bank’s new managing director.
The statement said, “This move would diminish the role the largely female borrower-shareholders play in shaping the direction of an institution that has made a difference to millions of impoverished women in Bangladesh, and indeed around the world.”
During her May visit to Dhaka, it said Secretary Clinton urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni to take no actions that would undermine the Grameen Bank.
The US government statement said, “We are concerned that the latest actions by the government could threaten the future of the bank, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.”
It added: “We call on the Government of Bangladesh to respect the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of Grameen Bank.”
We urge the Bangladeshi Government to ensure transparency in the selection of a new managing director who has unquestioned integrity, competence, and dedication to preserving Grameen Bank, its unique governance structure, and its effectiveness in bringing development and hope to 8.3 million of Bangladesh’s most vulnerable citizens, mostly women, it added.
Earlier, US Senator Barbara Boxer expressed disappointment over Bangladesh government’s efforts to establish control over Grameen Bank (GB), founded by Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus.
She also urged the government not to interfere in Grameen Bank’s autonomy in conducting its business.
On August 3, she said in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed in the Bangladeshi government’s efforts to exert control over Grameen Bank.”
The US Senator added, “This move threatens the ability of millions of Bangladeshi women to find a path out of poverty.”
She added: “Critical decisions regarding the Grameen Bank’s leadership should be left to the Board of Directors so that the bank can continue its vital work helping Bangladeshis start businesses and provide for their families.”
BDST: 2140 HRS, AUG 05, 2012
Edited by: M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor
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