Sunday, May 29, 2011
Yunus laments Bangladesh prime minister was badly advised
NOBEL LAUREATE Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and former chief of microfinance bank Grameen Bank, lamented that the Bangladesh prime minister was wrong to criticize him.
In an interview with the BBC's Lesley Curwen broadcast on Wednesday, Yunus said he was forced to stand down last month. He said prime minister Sheikh Hasina had only done so because she had been "badly advised".
Yunus for the first time spoke to news media, since he was forced out of Grameen Bank following a brief spell of legal battle.
Microcredit guru, Yunus was charged with allegation of siphoning money from Grameen Bank, prime minister Hasina on Dec. 5 last year told journalists that he was sucking blood of the poor, writes wire service bdnews24.com.
Hasina, criticizing Yunus, said "there is no difference between a person who enjoys taking interest on money and one who takes bribe".
The pioneer of microfinance contested the prime minister’s observation that bank of the poor failed to play its role to eradicate poverty.
An estimated ten million rural women, beneficiaries of modest loans from the Grameen Bank were empowered and have broken the threshold of poverty. Tormented by the Islamist in the villages, these rural women voted a secular and democratic party to power, which is led by current prime minister Shiekh Hasina.
Meanwhile, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, a former president of the Bangladesh Economic Association on Thursday said he believes it is difficult to overcome poverty through traditional ‘recovery-based’ micro lending activities. ‘Microcredit alone cannot bring in changes,’ he stressed.
Dr. Ahmad, chairman of a the World Bank supported microcredit funding agency Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) told English daily New Age that that introduction by the Microcredit Regulatory Authority certain conditionality for microfinance operations from June will streamline microcredit operations to some extent.
Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes in Jihad, forced migration, good governance and politics. He has recently returned from exile after living in Canada for six years. He could be reached at email@example.com