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Dr.Yunus’ ‘removal’: exploring the reasons March 5, 2011

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Government of Bangladesh is trying to remove Dr. Yunus from the post of managing director of Grameen Bank that he developed on his own pioneering idea of micro-financing to the poor and empowering the women for the last 30 years. As per a 1983 ordinance Government holds 25% statutory stake now with less than 5% of the contribution of the bank.

The Government found him more than 60 years of age, an age limit set for the employees of the Grameen Bank but not for its MD. Th other fault is not taking prior approval of Bangladesh bank before his appointment as MD, though the Board of Directors, the appointing Authority of this bank, duly appointed him.

Then where does lie the fault? The ordinary citizen can only speculate 4 possibilities to explain the situation:

1) This Government may consider him as a threat to it’s ambition to stay in power for an indefinite period. Dr. Yunus has shown his political interest in 2007 floating a political party, though shortly afterwords he had withdrawn himself from the venture. He was also approched by the sponsors of the last care taker government to hold the post of Chief Adviser though he refused, but had suggested the name of Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, a fellow economist who ran the caretaker government for long 2 years that successfully organized last national election of 2008 with the participation of all political parties. Dr. Yunus had his full blessing for the caretaker government.

2) Government may be thinking of taking control of Grameen Bank that has more than 8 million clients, has disbursed more than 16000 crore of money in the last year, has more than 20 commercial enterprises with renowned international companies like danone, Adidas, Viola.

3) May be the whole matter is personal. As Dr. Jafar Iqbal said in one of his recent articles that at one time Bangladesh was known to the world by the name of Bangabandhu Sk. Mujbur Rahman but Bangladesh is now known to the outside world by the name of Dr. Yunus and his activities. It may be difficult for someone in the center of the state to digest the matter.

4) Or there may be no apparent reason as Finance Minister MA Muhith said, there was no way out except to remove Dr. Yunus from Grameen Bank.

An ordinary citizen


1. Sabrina Islam - March 7, 2011

“No way out”? Way out of what..? What is left unsaid speaks volumes. Reading between the lines it’s clear the minister was under pressure to remove Yunus. Where did that pressure come from?

I think this report in the LA Times is interesting in this regard. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-bangladesh-bank-20110306,0,4915269,full.story

2. Lunatic - March 9, 2011
3. Sabrina Islam - April 30, 2011

I found this analysis of the Grameen probe report in Dhaka Courier very interesting.


It’s called “No Smoking Gun”. It appears the leading members of the probe committee are actually old friends with a history of battling NGOs and social entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

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