Bangladesh Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus has been shown the exit of Grameen Bank not on moral grounds but on archaic rules of retirement set for banks.
The High Court upheld the decision of the board of directors of Grameen Bank to retire Prof Yunus, 70 and gave the ruling in favour of the government which was adamant to oust Prof Yunus from the bank that has recreated history of many poor people in the country’s three-decade-old microfinance movement.
The only hope for Prof Yunus is to appeal the country’s apex Supreme Court against the verdict.
Prof Yunus had earlier blamed the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of intruding the microfinance movement to gain political control over the downtrodden and the poor whose vote bank is more than half of the country’s total electorate.
As per the banking law, the country’s central bank owns 25-percent of the stake in Grameen Bank. Recently, the government said Yunus had circumvented funds meant for microfinance to other arms of the bank two decades ago. But the Grameen Bank and Yunus were soon cleared of all the charges by the Norwegian government which said the temporary diversion of funds administrative reasons was condoned and it constituted no misuse of funds.
Prof Yunus pioneered the concept of microfinance or providing samll loans varying in the range of $10 to $25 to poor people engaged in income-generating programs. Later, the Grameen Bank was set up by him to provide these loans. The concept of microfinance earned him and his bank global recognition and even the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.
“Grameen bank and founder Dr.Muhammad Yunus are intertwined, Grameen Bank in fact has brought about a change in rural life through offering loan without collateral to women mainly. In the process they live well in the villages and afford providing education to their sons and daughters. there should not be any interference in the operation of the bank by the government,” wrote a commentator Mohammad Amjad Hosssain in response to our earlier story on Prof Yunus. Ironically, the government has finally succeeded to see him exit the bank.