Grameen Bank employees urge govt
Employees of Grameen Bank yesterday urged the government to appoint Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as chairman of the microfinance bank to ensure its smooth running.
“If Prof Yunus cannot be allowed to work as managing director for crossing retirement age, he should be appointed chairman,” said Md Shamsul Alam, president of Grameen Bank Employees Association.
“This will help him leave the bank in a congenial environment after handing leadership over to the next generation. It will also help restore confidence of the borrowers, depositors and employees in the bank,” he said at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
“We need him (Yunus) in the interest of the bank as well as in our interest. We are shocked by the central bank’s decision [Yunus’ removal as MD]” said Shamsul Alam.
The association leaders presented at the press conference papers containing signatures of 20,103 employees of the bank, appealing to the prime minister to consider their demand.
The employees said the Nobel-winning bank, which employs about 26,000 people serving over 83 lakh borrowers, could face troubles if the Nobel laureate is forced to leave in an undignified manner.
“Deep discontent is prevailing among employees of the bank due to the central bank’s illegal decision,” said Md Sagir Hossain Chowdhury, former president of the association.
BM Barkatullah, founding president of the association, said the central bank’s sudden decision to remove Dr Yunus has taken the borrowers and depositors by surprise.
“In this circumstance, the bank could stumble and jeopardise the livelihood of over five crore people associated with the bank directly or indirectly,” he said.
Removal of Prof Yunus in this manner could deal a serious blow to Grameen Bank, Barkatullah said. “The borrowers could stop repaying loans, depositors could withdraw their money and employees could leave the bank en masse out of anxieties.”
The association urged the government not to appoint any controversial former employee of Grameen Bank as its managing director.
Earlier last month, 37 lakh Grameen borrowers signed to defend the Nobel laureate.
On March 2, the central bank relieved Dr Yunus as managing director of Grameen stating his reappointment to the post over a decade ago flouted rules.
The Nobel laureate, who remains at Grameen’s helm for now, has appealed to the Supreme Court against this, the hearing of which has been adjourned till the first week of next month.
Courtesy of The Daily Star