DHAKA: Nobel laureate Professor Dr Muhammad Yunus, also founder of the Grameen Bank, has expressed deep concern over the future of the bank.
The Nobel laureate also expressed apprehension that the Grameen Bank, holding the concept of microfinance for last 30 years, would be taken over by the government.
On March 2, Yunus was finally removed as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank as a Norwegian media documentary on shady fund transfer rattled his position in his micro-finance institution.
Assigning the reason for sacking the Nobel Peace Prize winner from his post the notification states that according to the Grameen Bank Ordinance-1982 and the Company Law of Bangladesh Bank, after 60 years of age, nobody is allowed to hold the post of Managing Director of any bank of Bangladesh. If anybody wishes to hold the post, he has to take permission from Bangladesh Bank.
For reviewing the ownership of the bank and of 54 related social businesses that are still headed by Yunus the government set up a commission.
Dr Yunus said, in a statement, “I believe without doubt that Grameen Bank’s future will be endangered if the government raises its role in the bank by changing its legal structure.”
“I am now extremely worried about the possibility of Grameen Bank being taken into government control. I fear even to anticipate the course that Grameen Bank will take if it is made a government institution,” he said.
Yunus is seen as one of the world’s leading anti-poverty activists and his sacking from Grameen Bank, apparently on the orders of the government, sparked widespread international anger.
Three weeks ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heaped praise on Yunus during a visit to Dhaka and called for Grameen Bank’s work to not be undermined as it had helped millions of women.
On March 22, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake capped his visit with an implicit note of caution that the bilateral relations between Dhaka and Washington would be affected if the Bangladesh government failed to find a ‘compromise’ formula for an amicable settlement of the problem with Nobel laureate micro-credit guru Dr Yunus.
Failing to have a compromise on the Yunus issue “will have an effect on the bilateral relations” between Bangladesh and the United States, he said before leaving Dhaka.
BDST: 2148 HRS, MAY 30, 2012
Edited by:Abul Kalam Azad, Newsroom Editor, M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor
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