Dhaka, Mar 4 (bdnews24.com) — Nobel Peace laureate and ‘deposed’ managing director of Grameen Bank (GB) Muhammad Yunus has taken the battle right to the finance minister’s doorstep.
In a rejoinder issued on Friday, Grameen Bank stated that the statements of finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith at a meet with diplomats and later to the press on Thursday did not give a true account of the situation.
The rejoinder, issued in the name of GB’s general manager (information and media) Jannat-E-Q-Quanine, said the finance minister’s statement that Grameen Bank was not a non-government organisation (NGO) was ‘not entirely correct’.
The central bank ordered removal of Yunus as Grameen Bank head on Wednesday, saying that his re-appointment did not have its prior approval.
The news hit the headlines around the world, compelling the finance minister to hold a meeting with foreign diplomats and international organisations explaining where the government stood.
“According to the Ordinance of 1983, through which GB was created, 75 per cent of the bank’s ownership lies with its landless members and the rest belongs to the government. In fact, the capital provided by the government is only 3.5 per cent of the total,” the rejoinder said.
The finance minister said there must be measures to resolve the matter of Yunus had held on to the managing director’s post illegally.
The rejoinder also finds enclosed a personal letter dated March 15, 2010 that Yunus had sent to the finance minister, addressing him as ‘Muhith Bhai’.
The letter, wherein Yunus had expressed his desire to hand over the reins of power to the next generation in a smooth manner, under the supervision of Muhith himself, is meant to hammer the point that the Nobel laureate had himself offered to quit.
However, both the options Yunus had suggested for the ’smooth transition of power’ see him remain in the office as the bank’s chairman.
So, while the letter to Muhith does prove the point that he wanted to step down as managing director, it does not in any way suggest the he wanted to out of Grameen Bank management.
The rejoinder also stated that ‘Prof Yunus has said repeatedly that he follows the law and in his opinion, he remains in the post of managing director legally’.
Given the finance minister’s silence and inaction despite receiving the personal letter, Grameen Bank sent another letter on Sep 14, 2010 to the secretary of Bank and Finance Division requesting employment of a chairman for the micro-credit giant.
Another letter was issued to the corresponding ministry on Dec 19, 2010 as no action was taken following the earlier letter. The government did not take any step to employ a chairman in 2010 either.