The government is set to form a search committee to find a managing director for the Grameen Bank after amendment of the bank’s Ordinance was approved by the President on Wednesday, said officials.
Consent to the amendment by President Zillur Rahman is the last major step to enable the government to appoint a new MD after the forced exit of its founder and managing director, Dr Muhammad Yunus, by a directive of the Bangladesh Bank.
Yunus challenged the central bank’s order in the High Court, but lost his case.
Officials said that the Ministry of Law would issue a gazette notification on the amendment of the Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983.
The government sought the amendment to give more power to the chairman of the bank, who is one of the three government nominees to the
12-member board of directors, as well as to give legal coverage to the search committee.
The search committee is likely to be constituted within a couple of days and will be comprised of three to five members. A micro-credit expert may lead the committee, said officials.
Finance minister AMA Muhith on the same day said that ‘the search committee will be formed in one week’.
He told reporters that the issuance of the gazette on the amendment to the Grameen Bank Ordinance was delayed due to the Eid holiday.
The government’s attempt to gain control of Grameen Bank has aroused a great deal of criticism at home and abroad.
The US government has expressed its concern at the government’s move to curtail the power of the Grameen Bank’s borrowers in the selection of the managing director.
Yunus, who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize with the Grameen Bank in 2006, said that he has become very anxious over the future the bank.
The finance minister said the achievements of Yunus are praiseworthy but the existing system of appointing an MD is not acceptable.
He said that the system is designed in a way which gives no chance to select an MD excepting Yunus. ‘This system is not acceptable to Bangladesh Bank,’ he said.
He denied that the government had ousted Yunus. He said that Yunus himself snapped his relations with the bank.
‘I suggested that he hold an honourable post in the bank, but he turned down my proposal,’ said the finance minister, adding that Yunus preferred going to the court.
-With New Age input