Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Nobel laureate Md Yunus removed as Grameen Bank MD

Grameen Bank managing director and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been relieved of his duties.

Deputy general manager (protocol) of the Bangladesh Bank governor's secretariat A F M Asaduzzaman confirmed the sacking of Yunus to

Around 4:45pm on Wednesday, Asaduzzaman said, "Muhammad Yunus has been removed from the post of managing director of Grameen Bank."

"I hope the order to this effect will arrive in a while," he added.

Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith had on Tuesday confirmed receiving a central bank letter terming holding of office by Yunus illegal.

Muhith, however, declined to comment any further on the issue. "It's a legal issue. There's nothing to be said about it now."

Reports published in various newspapers claimed that the letter cited Article 14(3) of the Grameen Bank Ordinance-1983 and stated that Nobel laureate Yunus should not stay on as the bank's managing director.

The article referred to in the letter specifies the retirement age and deems ineligible people above 60 years of age.

On Feb 15, the finance minister told BBC that Yunus should resign from his position at Grameen Bank. "He has even reached the (retirement) age limit for holding the office of a private bank chief."

Muhith also pointed out that 70-year-old Yunus had already exceeded the age limit, and said that it was time for the Nobel laureate to step down. "No one can stay in an organisation forever."

Norway's national TV NRK aired a documentary on November 30 titled "Fanget i Mikrogjeld" or "Caught in Micro debt", based on which ran a report on December 1.

According to the documentary, Yunus transferred funds destined for Grameen Bank to Grameen Kalyan, which was in no way involved with micro-credit operations.

Responding to the allegations, Grameen Bank claimed there was no wrongdoing in the agreement between the bank and Grameen Kalyan, under which it received Tk 3,917 million from Grameen Bank.