Yunus blamed to shift focus

Claims his centre about WB loan cancellation
Yunus Centre, which promotes the work of Prof Muhammad Yunus, yesterday said the Nobel laureate is being blamed for the World Bank’s fund cancellation to turn people’s attention away from the real issue.
The World Bank cancelled its loan for the Padma bridge project, saying it had proof of a corruption conspiracy involving Bangladeshi officials, executives of a Canadian firm and individuals, the centre added.
“The real issue is being published in newspapers every day. The World Bank has brought up corruption charges. They are saying that they have credible evidence in their hands. Bangladesh will have to conduct the probe.
“It will not be easy to turn people’s attention away by creating unfounded stories,” the centre said in a 29-page statement based on frequently asked questions in the media and other platforms.
The centre voluntarily responded to various questions and criticisms about Grameen Bank, 54 associated companies and Prof Yunus, which are being aired at various platforms and media at present.
Many anti-Yunus figures in the country, including those from the ruling party, raised questions about the role of the microcredit pioneer when the Washington-based ender cancelled its $1.2 billion funding for the Padma bridge project in June this year.
The critics blamed Yunus for the WB loan cancellation as he has close relations with influential figures, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Yunus Centre said even if he had good connections with powerful and influential figures, international decisions did not depend on those good relations.
“A $3-billion project will not come to a halt because of his unreasonable demand, no matter how big figure Prof Yunus is or what good relations he has with influential figures. Such stories have been spread to turn away people’s attention from the real issue.”
It said many were coming up with harsh criticism on the basis of imaginary information, which could be happening because of lack of information. As a result, people are being misled.
The step to turn Grameen Bank into a government institution had been taken during the rule of the present government. In the past, no other governments, including the Awami League-led government in 1996-2001, made such claims, it added.
The centre said the bank had been functioning as a private bank since 1990. Past perceptions have been overturned through a recent higher court order and it is now said that Grameen Bank is a statutory organisation.
Grameen Bank has been out of control of the government since 1990 through a change to the Grameen Bank Ordinance. But the finance ministry, Bangladesh Bank, external auditors or any other party raised no question.
At present, members-borrowers own 97 percent of Grameen Bank, while the rest 3 percent is owned by the government.
Although Grameen Bank has been paying dividend since 2006, Prof Yunus or his colleagues did not take any dividend from the bank as they own no share in the bank. They only get salaries from the bank, it added.
Questions have been raised whether Prof Yunus violated laws by holding on to the post of managing director and by accepting salaries and other benefits beyond the retirement age of 60.
The centre said through a change to the ordinance in 1990 the power to appoint the managing director of Grameen Bank was vested with the board of directors, subject to the central bank approval.
When the central bank approved the reappointment of Dr Yunus in 1990 it did not mention in the approval letter the retirement age of Prof Yunus as managing director. But in 1999, the board decided that he would continue to hold the post until the board decided otherwise.
In 2002 when the central bank assessed the re-inspection report it also considered the issue of objection to the appointment of managing director as a settled issue, said the centre. At the time the age of Prof Yunus was 61 years six months.
“Is it his fault for holding the post for 11 years since then? Is it the fault of those who appointed him? Or is it fault of the central bank for its consent that gave acceptability to the appointment? It has to be settled,” the centre asked.
It also said Prof Yunus did not own a single share in the 54 companies he had set up. He also does not own share into Grameenphone, which is owned by Telenor, Grameen Telecom, a not-for-profit and thousands of share-holders.
It said Prof Yunus earned a lot foreign currency every year through his speeches at various conferences and organisations and gets royalty from sales of his books translated in various languages and for other awards.
Any Bangladeshi citizen enjoys income-tax free facility if he brings his income earned abroad through proper banking channel and includes them on the income tax return every year. Thus, legally his income from overseas sources is tax-free.
It said since he turned 60 in June 29, 2000, Prof Yunus took as salaries and other benefits worth Tk 52.94 lakh until May 12, 2011 from Grameen Bank for working as managing director of Grameen Bank. He took home Tk 38.82 lakh after paying the house rent and 7.5 percent of the basic salaries as maintenance fee.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

Related News

Rice labeled as Miniket will no longer be sold

News Desk : Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a meeting on Wednesday that rice could not be sold as miniket because there was no such variety. Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a meeting on Wednesday that rice could not be sold as miniket because there was no such variety. He ... Read more

Bangladesh asks Spain for support for Rohingya repatriation

News Desk : Bangladesh called for Spain’s proactive support for Bangladesh’s stance on returning Rohingyas to Myanmar. It also called on Spain to join the US, UK, Netherlands and Germany in supporting the Gambia in the case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Bangladesh Ambassador to Spain Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood made ... Read more

Three Bangladeshi peacekeepers killed

News Desk : Three Bangladesh Army soldiers deployed in the United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic were killed and an officer was injured in an explosion of an improvised explosive device during their routine patrolling on a military vehicle on Tuesday. The Inter-Services Public Relations, in a statement, identified the peacekeepers ... Read more

Brunei Sultan scheduled to visit Bangladesh on October 13–15

News Desk : Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah will be visiting Bangladesh from October 13 to 15. During his first state visit, he will hold meeting with President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The two countries may sign five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on labour cooperation, energy, direct ... Read more

Telecom, internet service interrupted due to power failure

News Desk : The failure of the electricity grid is causing interruption telecommunication and internet services throughout the country The Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) released a related statement on Tuesday (October 4), outlining the risks of disruption brought on by a power outage. Due to the failure of the national ... Read more

Road accidents claim 476 lives in September: report

News Desk : At least 476 people were killed in traffic accidents across the country in September, according to a report by the Road Safety Foundation. They died in 407 separate accidents, with 794 injured in the past month. Road Safety Foundation published the report on Monday (3 October) citing that of the total ... Read more

Durga Puja begins today

News Desk : Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu community, begins today with Maha Shashthi puja at temples across the country with due religious fervour. Preparations at all puja mandaps have almost been completed as artisans are busy giving the final touches to idols and pandals to celebrate the festival. It ... Read more

Veteran journalist Toab Khan dies

News Desk : Dainik Bangla editor and Ekushey Padak-winning journalist Toab Khan passed away. He was 87. He breathed his last around 12:40pm today at United Hospital, Sharifuzzaman Pintu, executive editor of the daily said. Toab Khan was admitted to the hospital with old-age complications, his colleagues said. Born on April 24 of 1934 ... Read more

Study shows 61% of processed foods contain too much salt

About 34% of processed foods contain double the recommended amount News Desk : About 61% of processed and packaged foods found in Bangladesh contain more salt than is considered safe, posing a higher health risk to consumers. A guideline is needed to set a maximum salt content for processed foods, health experts say. Popular ... Read more

Issuance of driving licenses to become ‘easier’ from December

News Desk : The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority plans to simplify the process for obtaining a driving license from December, , an official announced on Tuesday. To make the process simpler, the authorities will collect biometric data from applicants prior to driving tests, allow them to make payments online, and send out licenses in ... Read more

Create jobs, boost rural economy

Speakers tell event News Desk : Safeguarding children from curses of child labour and early marriage has become a challenge in the aftermath of pandemic, said speakers at a seminar in Rajshahi yesterday. They suggested job creation and boosting up rural economy for resisting the families of low-income group from forcing their children into ... Read more

Karatoa boat capsizes, death toll rises to 65

News Desk : The death toll from the boat capsize in Karatoa river in Panchagarh rose to 65 after 16 more bodies were recovered from the river today (September 27, 2022). At least 15 people are still missing from the incident. Dipankar Roy, additional deputy commissioner of Panchagarh and head of the rescue operation ... Read more

Holy Eid-e-Miladunnabi on 9 October

News Desk : Marking the day of birth and passing away of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), holy Eid-e-Miladunnabi will be observed in the country on October 9 with religious solemnity. The decision was made at the National Moon Sighting Committee’s meeting held yesterday at the Islamic Foundation’s office in Baitul Mukarram. The meeting was ... Read more

8 businesses including Unilever and City Group and individuals sued for overcharging

The Bangladesh Competition Commission has served notices on the company and the individual to attend hearings on 26-27 News Desk : The Bangladesh Competition Commission has filed lawsuits against eight people and businesses, including Unilever, City Group, Kazi Farms, Paragon Poultry, and Rashid Agro, alleging that they have illegally increased the cost of numerous ... Read more

Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun made new IGP

News Desk : Chowdhury Abdullah Al Mamun has been appointed as the new Inspector General of Bangladesh Police. Mamun will replace the current IGP Benazir Ahmed who is going to retire on September 30, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard. Mamun is currently the director general ... Read more

IGP Benazir Ahmed going on retirement

News Desk : The government has issued a gazette notification on Dr Benazir Ahmed’s retirement from the post of Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Bangladesh Police (BP). The move comes as the senior cop will reach his retirement age on 30 September. According to government rules, an official goes into post-retirement leave (PRL) ... Read more

Dinajpur board’s postponed SSC exams from Oct 10-13

News Desk : SSC examinations on four subjects, which were postponed by Dinajpur Education Board, will be held from October 10 to 13. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting chaired by the education board’s chairman Prof Md Kamrul Islam. A routine in this regard has been published on the website of Dinajpur ... Read more

SSC question paper leak: Dinajpur Board postpones 4 exams

The four subjects are Mathematics, Physics, Agricultural Science and Chemistry News Desk : Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams on total four subjects, scheduled to be held under the Dinajpur Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, have been postponed. A notification, signed by the board’s Chairman Professor Md Kamrul Islam, was issued in this regard ... Read more

Japan allocates $3.5 mn for Rohingyas in Bangladesh

News Desk : Japan will disburse $3.5 million to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh. The Japanese government and the UNHCR have signed an agreement regarding the assistance that would be used to maintain access to critical and life-sustaining services for Rohingyas living in ... Read more

UNFPA discusses child marriage, menstrual health situation

News Desk : Knowledge sharing event on child marriage during the Covid pandemic and menstrual health management in urban slums, organised by UNFPA was held on Sunday. UNFPA arranged the programme to disseminate and discuss the findings of the two studies — one to shed light on the situation of child marriage during covid-19 ... Read more