Download the Kiva toolbar! - (what's this?)

October 02, 2014, 01:23:30 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register (it's quick and free!) for full access to all community features and functions, including instant messaging and message viewing preferences.

Login with username, password and session length

Cool Forum Options
: Not available. Login or register :)
: Popular Topics on Kiva Friends

Kivapedia
: View recent changes on Kivapedia
: Online shopping that helps support Kiva
: List of Kiva microfinance institutions
: List of Kiva group lenders
: Kiva Timeline : More...


.
Welcome to Kiva Friends, an active community for Kiva users, staff and supporters. Don't know what Kiva is? Read this!
   
   Home   Search Calendar Help Tags Login Register  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Bookmark This  |  E-Mail This  |  Print It  
Author Topic: Grameen Bank  (Read 5917 times)
0 Members and 2 Guests were last seen viewing this topic.
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« on: December 05, 2010, 05:19:35 AM »

http://www.nrk.no/programmer/tv/brennpunkt/1.7397163
http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/klipp/688333/

Yunus and Grameen Bank:
608 million kr given from Norway is missing.
http://www.nrk.no/programmer/tv/brennpunkt/1.7397163
http://translate.google.no/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrk.no%2Fprogrammer%2Ftv%2Fbrennpunkt%2F1.7397163&sl=no&tl=en&hl&ie=UTF-8
http://www.nrk.no/programmer/tv/brennpunkt/1.7402830
http://translate.google.no/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nrk.no%2Fprogrammer%2Ftv%2Fbrennpunkt%2F1.7397163&sl=no&t
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #1 on: December 05, 2010, 05:22:31 AM »

http://av.bdnews24.com/file/all/Yunus.pdf
http://www.grameen-info.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=813&Itemid=0

"Grameen Bank's Response to Recent Press Reports    Print


3rd December, 2010

Grameen Bank's Response to Recent Press Reports

We are sorry that many friends and well-wishers of Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank around the world were subject to mental agony because of the inaccurate and misleading news report published globally regarding an alleged "siphoning off" of a large amount money by Professor Yunus through one of his organizations, or "Stashing of $100 million by Nobel Laureate Professor Yunus", as one news organization put it. The media reports were triggered by the documentary "Fanget I Mikrogjeld" shown on Norwegian TV on Tuesday 30 November and by report that appeared in bdnews24.com on 1 December.

We wish to assure all readers that these reports are a total fabrication and baseless. Our whole background story was given in Professor Yunus’s letter of January 8, 1998 .This letter has been circulated by the news agency along with their report. Any reader will immediately know how baseless the report is. We are including this letter along with this rejoinder.

There was no wrong doing in the agreement between Grameen Bank and Grameen Kalyan. Decisions were taken by Grameen Bank Board, with due deliberation, good faith, and with good intentions to benefit the poor. The actions taken by the Board were viewed as the best use of the funds at the time, a way to ensure Grameen Bank would remain financially accountable for the money while still ensuring that the borrowers received the most possible benefit from donors’ grants.

For the grant that Grameen Bank received from Norad and other donor agencies under its 3rd extension phase, Grameen Bank and donors agreed that a 2% interest rate would be fixed on the grant and that interest would be used to create a Social Advancement Fund (SAF) for the welfare of Grameen Bank borrowers and employees. The creation of SAF was our suggestion, donors happily agreed to it.

Grameen Bank believed that if the SAF was kept within Grameen Bank and managed by Grameen Bank then it would not receive the attention it deserves. The core activity of Grameen Bank, the lending program, would always get precedence. Grameen Bank may not pay sufficient attention to create welfare based programs for its members and employees.

Moreover, Grameen’s tax exemption period expired on 31st December, 1996. At that time it was uncertain whether the government would extend the tax exemption period after 31stDecember, 1996. If the government would not extend the period then the contribution to the Social Advancement Fund as expenses would not be considered as an expenditure of Grameen Bank. As a result, 40% tax would have been imposed on contribution to Social Advancement Fund. It might compel Grameen Bank to reduce or stop charging 2% interest on revolving fund to contribute to SAF which would be a violation of the agreement with donors. Professor Yunus explains this in his letter dated January 8, 1998 which we attach with this statement. Under these circumstances, the need for a new organization emerged. This led to the creation of Grameen Kalyan as the dedicated organization to utilize the interest income.

Grameen Kalyan was created by the Grameen Bank board (Board Decision 42.8, dated April 25, 1996) in 1996 for the benefit of the Grameen borrowers and employees (90 percent of whom come from low income families), after taking into consideration the opinion of the renowned chartered accountant firm of Bangladesh named Rahman Rahman Huq and Co of Bangladesh, affiliated partner of KPMG.

Grameen Kalyan is a not- for-profit company under company law. No individual owns any share of this company. The profit of this company is not divisible and can only be recycled into its operation to maximize its stated objectives of providing primarily healthcare and education services of Grameen Bank’s members and employees.

Empowered by a board decision and executing an agreement between Grameen Bank and Grameen Kalyan under which, an endowment to the extent of Taka 3917 million 014 thousand was created by simultaneous notional "transfer" of money. Grameen Kalyan was never given the control and possession of the fund. This simultaneous transfer and Grameen Bank receiving it back in the form of a loan, created an opportunity to charge interest on this loan. That interest income was ear-marked to finance borrowers Social Advancement Fund (SAF) as agreed by the donors earlier within the Bank. It was a financial innovation to benefit the poor. Grameen Kalyan received 2% per cent interest on the money. This money was to be used to provide education and other services to the borrowers and employees of Grameen Bank.

The programs run by Grameen Kalyan with the interest accumulated in the SAF included:

1.0 Provide support for higher studies for the academically accomplished children’s of borrowers

2.0 Scholarship programs for the academically accomplished children’s of borrowers

3.0 Provide healthcare services to the borrowers at low cost through healthcare centres in the villages. Currently it operates 51 health centres throughout the country.

4.0 Medical expense loans and assistance programs for the employees and their family member

5.0 Provide assistance for the employees’ household loan program

The actions taken by the Board, which is comprised of 9 elected representatives of Grameen Bank borrowers, and three senior representative of the government, were viewed as the best use of the funds, a way to ensure Grameen Bank would remain financially accountable for the money while still ensuring that the borrowers received the most possible benefit from donors’ grants. Afterwards not only Norad’s money, but the 100% of all donor's money to the extent of Taka 3,474 million 501 thousand was "transferred back", from Grameen Kalyan to Grameen Bank, although money was always in the Grameen Bank’s account. Only SAF fund money amounting to Taka 442 million 512 thousand remained with Grameen Kalyan as it was created out of the interest.

Some print and electronic media stated that Grameen Bank transferred 7 billion Taka to Grameen Kalyan which is absolutely false. Grameen Bank transferred to Gameen Kalyan Taka 3917 million 014 thousand as mentioned before and transferred back Taka 3474 million 502 thousand which is stated earlier. These can be verified through Grameen Bank’s annually audited accounts.

If we convert the aforesaid amount at the prevailing exchange rate of 1996, then the ‘transfer’ stands at about US $ 96 million and the ‘transfer back’ stands at approximately US $ 85 million. Thus all the donors money was transferred back and only US $ 11 million remained with Grameen Kalyan as it was created out of interest. So the report where it mentions that Grameen Bank transferred US $ 100 million and transferred back only US $ 30 million is completely false.

All necessary entries had been taken in the books of accounts of Grameen Bank to replace the transfer, though no physical fund transfer took place, as the fund was with Grameen Bank all along. The fund in question never went out of the Grameen Bank's account and the question of Professor Yunus siphoning this amount is false and baseless. All these talk about siphoning off are just empty words for sensationalism.

According to the management and board of Grameen Bank there was no violation of any provision of the agreement with Norad. It was a matter of differing views on the subject. Norad considered it a departure from the provision of the agreement, while Grameen Bank thought it was done within the agreement. Grameen Bank did not want go into battle on this issue and so jeopardize our excellent relationship. Grameen Bank reversed its decision and restored the status quo.

The concerns brought up by Norad and the Norwegian government were treated with the utmost seriousness by Grameen Bank and Professor Yunus, and both sides worked to resolve the differing interpretation of a clause in their initial Agreement and arrive at a solution in a satisfactory manner. By restoring the status quo the matter was amicably resolved. It never came back since then. None of the parties involved felt aggrieved.

This is an excerpt from the Norwegian Embassy's letter dated 26 May 1998: H.E. Ambassador Hans Fredrik Lehne and Einar Landmark write "The Embassy highly appreciates your cooperation in solving this issue, and is pleased to have arrived at a solution which is satisfactory for Grameen Bank as well as the embassy". Reports gave the impression that these transactions were somehow secretive. There was nothing secretive about. It was a matter of honest disagreement.

Grameen Bank’s decision making has always remained very transparent. Grameen Bank’s board is always chaired by a distinguished citizen of the country appointed by the government. Government appoints two high officials as members of the board besides the Chairman. Grameen Bank which was created by an ordinance. It requires Bank to be audited by two chartered accountant firms every year and submit the accounts to the government as well to the tax department. Grameen Bank also sent these reports every year to all donors. In addition it is inspected by the central bank annually. Besides all audited reports of Grameen Bank, from 1983 to 2009 displayed in Grameen Bank’s website in addition to all current statistics relating to the operation of the Bank. Moreover Grameen Bank regularly publishes "Grameen Bank at a Glance" monthly and post it in its website which introduces Grameen Kalyan in the following way.

"Grameen Kalyan"

Grameen Kalyan (well-being) is a spin off company created by Grameen Bank. Grameen Bank created an internal fund called Social Advancement Fund (SAF) by imputing interest on all the grant money it received from various donors. SAF has been converted into a separate company to carry out its mandate to undertake social advance activities among the Grameen borrowers, such as, education, health, technology, etc".

Grameen Bank is Nobel Prize winning bank. We take pride in our transparency and our service to the poor."

 

     

Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #2 on: December 05, 2010, 05:26:56 AM »

According to Bhalchander Vishwanath  http://www.facebook.com/bhalchander its bad journalism.
He has written his thoughts here: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/MicrofinancePractice/message/12573
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #3 on: December 09, 2010, 05:05:03 PM »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11947902

Norway has told the BBC that there are "no more unanswered questions" into claims that the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh wrongly diverted aid cash.

http://www.rediff.com/business/report/norway-gives-clean-chit-to-nobel-laureate-yunus/20101208.htm

Norway gives clean chit to Nobel Laureate Yunus - Rediff.com Business
www.rediff.com
Norway on Wednesday gave a clean chit to Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus, saying it found no evidence of donor fund embezzlement by his bank, removing a cloud that had hovered over the Nobel Laureate.
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #4 on: January 09, 2011, 02:47:01 AM »

Latest news from http://www.facebook.com/UnitedProsperity.org

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=169263

"Muhammad Yunus

In the 1970s, when I began working here on what would eventually be called ''microcredit,'' one of my goals was to eliminate the presence of loan sharks who grow rich by preying on the poor. In 1983, I founded Grameen Bank to provide small loans that people, especially poor women, could use to bring themselves out of poverty. At that time, I never imagined that one day microcredit would give rise to its own breed of loan sharks.

But it has. And as a result, many borrowers in India have been defaulting on their microloans, which could then result in lenders being driven out of business. India's crisis points to a clear need to get microcredit back on track.

Trouble with microcredit began around 2005, when many lenders started looking for ways to make a profit on the loans by shifting from their status as nonprofit organisations to commercial enterprises. In 2007, Compartamos, a Mexican bank, became Latin America's first microcredit bank to go public. And this past August, SKS Microfinance, the largest bank of its kind in India, raised $358 million in an initial public offering.

To ensure that the small loans would be profitable for their shareholders, such banks needed to raise interest rates and engage in aggressive marketing and loan collection. The kind of empathy that had once been shown toward borrowers when the lenders were nonprofits disappeared. The people whom microcredit was supposed to help were instead being harmed. And in India, borrowers came to believe that the lenders were taking advantage of them, and stopped repaying their loans.

Commercialisation has been a terrible wrong turn for microfinance, and it indicates a worrying ''mission drift'' in the motivation of those lending to the poor. Poverty should be eradicated, not seen as a money-making opportunity. There are serious practical problems with treating microcredit as an ordinary profit-maximising business. Instead of creating wholesale funds dedicated to lending money to microfinance institutions, as Bangladesh has done, these commercial organisations raise larger sums in volatile international financial markets, and then transmit financial risks to the poor.

Furthermore, it means that commercial microcredit institutions are subject to demands for ever-increasing profits, which can only come in the form of higher interest rates charged to the poor, defeating the very purpose of the loans.

Some advocates of commercialisation say it's the only way to attract the money that's needed to expand the availability of microcredit and to ''liberate'' the system from dependence on foundations and other charitable donors. But it is possible to harness investment in microcredit -- and even make a profit -- without working through either charities or global financial markets.

Grameen Bank, where I am managing director, has 2,500 branches in Bangladesh. It lends out more than $100 million a month, from loans of less than $10 for beggars in our ''Struggling Members'' programme, to micro-enterprise loans of about $1,000. Most branches are financially self-reliant, dependent only on deposits from ordinary Bangladeshis. When borrowers join the bank, they open a savings account. All borrowers have savings accounts at the bank, many with balances larger than their loans. And every year, the bank's profits are returned to the borrowers -- 97 percent of them poor women --in the form of dividends.

More microcredit institutions should adopt this model. The community needs to reaffirm the original definition of microcredit, abandon commercialisation and turn back to serving the poor.

Stricter government regulation could help. The maximum interest rate should not exceed the cost of the fund -- meaning the cost that is incurred by the bank to procure the money to lend -- plus 15 percent of the fund. That 15 percent goes to cover operational costs and contribute to profit.

In the case of Grameen Bank, the cost of the fund is 10 percent. So, the maximum interest rate could be 25 percent. However, we charge 20 percent to the borrowers. The ideal ''spread'' between the cost of the fund and the lending rate should be close to 10 percent.

To enforce such a cap, every country where microloans are made needs a microcredit regulatory authority. Bangladesh, which has the most microcredit borrowers per square mile in the world, has had such an authority for several years, and it has ensured transparency in lending and prevented excessive interest rates and collection practices. It can also accredit microfinance banks. India, with its burgeoning microcredit sector, is most in need of a similar agency.

There are always people eager to take advantage of the vulnerable. But credit programmes that seek to profit from the suffering of the poor should not be described as ''microcredit,'' and investors who own such programmes should not be allowed to benefit from the trust that microcredit banks have rightly earned.

Governments are responsible for preventing such abuse. In 1997, then First Lady Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh met with other world leaders to commit to providing 100 million poor people with microloans and other financial services by 2005. At the time, it looked like an utterly impossible task, but by 2006, we had achieved it. World leaders should come together again to provide the powerful and visionary leadership to help steer microcredit back on course.

(Published from International Herald Tribune with permission) "
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 02:47:31 AM by Skimmis » Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #5 on: January 09, 2011, 02:53:30 AM »

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/is-bangladesh-trying-to-take-over-grameen-bank/

"Nicholas D. Kristof - A New York Times Blog
January 5, 2011, 5:35 pm

Is Bangladesh Trying to Take Over Grameen Bank?

By NICHOLAS KRISTOF

Very strange things are happening in Bangladesh these days. There seems to be a multi-pronged assault on Grameen Bank and on Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role pioneering microfinance.
Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner, is the founder of Grameen Bank, a microfinance institution that has recently come under attack in Bangladesh.Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg News Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Grameen Bank, a microfinance institution that has recently come under attack in Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshi press has lately been full of denunciations of Yunus. On Tuesday, for example, one Bangladeshi news organization quoted an economist as saying of him: “A lot about him is just myth. [He] had never been selfless in any of his initiatives.” Meanwhile the Bangladeshi government has ordered a corruption investigation of Grameen after a Norwegian television documentary raised questions, even though the Norwegian government  said there was nothing to the charges.  There have also been (false) published reports that Yunus will resign and suggestions that he should retire for reasons of age. And it seems the government of Sheikh Hasina Wazed wants to revise the ownership of Grameen Bank so that it would be 60 percent government-owned. That was the situation in the 1980’s, but then the law was revised to state that ownership would be 75 percent by Grameen borrowers, and 25 percent by the government; in fact, despite the law, Grameen borrowers have paid in more capital, and so the government stake is down to 3.4 percent as of 2009. (An earlier version of this post had incorrect figures here).

Finally, a court has ordered Yunus to appear on Jan. 18 to face charges of defamation, apparently for saying in 2007 that politicians pursue only money. He could be arrested and tossed in prison for that. And given the timing, it sure looks as if this is an orchestrated campaign to take him out, and seize the bank for the government. If this is a concerted campaign, then presumably it could happen only with the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. And she does seem to have changed her pitch: a former supporter of microfinance, she recently denounced it as “sucking blood from the poor in the name of poverty alleviation.”

Look, Professor Yunus is no more above the law than anyone else. He and Grameen deserve close scrutiny. Microfinance should be debated. But the present campaign against Yunus doesn’t ring true to me, or to some others who are watching. (I’ve spoken to people on three continents, on all sides of this issue, but people are afraid to speak openly). I just don’t know what is going on. It may be that the government worries that Yunus will enter politics, or criticize politicians — and they may also be salivating at the prospect of gaining control over Grameen, which touches 1 person in 3 in Bangladesh.

I’ve often made the point in my columns, and Sheryl WuDunn and I also made it in our book “Half the Sky,” that Bangladesh has thrived in recent decades because of the strength of its civil society — especially Grameen and the equally amazing organization BRAC. Government governance has frankly been disappointing, but civil society has helped account for Bangladesh’s enormous gains. If the government is now going to crush the country’s strongest sector, heaven help it. And if Yunus is arrested on some trumped-up charges Bangladesh will have destroyed its credibility.

Microfinance is in a crisis these days, particularly because of problems in Andhra Pradesh, India (here’s  one excellent background piece and here’s another). There is no doubt that the sector’s very success has attracted bad apples. But it’s also clear that Grameen and Dr. Yunus have had an enormous positive impact upon Bangladesh and the world. He deserved that Nobel Peace Prize. The international community needs to make sure that funny business in Bangladesh doesn’t savage one of the great successes of development. For her part, Sheikh Hasina should forthrightly declare that the government will continue with its 25 percent stake in Grameen and won’t try to increase it.

Let’s hope this is all a tempest in a teacup. If not, and if Grameen is turned into a state bank, that would be a catastrophe — above all for the impoverished people who depend on it. And if a Nobel Peace Prize winner can be shunted aside, then all of civil society is in jeopardy.

Postscript: an earlier version of this post said that the government owns 25 percent of Grameen Bank. That’s the law but in fact, as noted above, the government stake was 3.4 percent as of 2009. Mea culpa."
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 02:56:01 AM by Skimmis » Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #6 on: February 04, 2011, 04:04:39 AM »




Filmmaker Gayle Ferraro takes a trip to Jobra, Bangladesh, to seek what really happened to Sophia Begum, the famous bamboo stool maker whom Muhammad Yunus writes about in his books. Tom Heinemann's documentary "Caught in Micro Debt" falsely alleges that he talked to her daughter, and that she died in poverty, but Gayle reveals that the woman he interviewed was not her daughter and that Sophia Begum is alive and prospering.

Orginal film:



« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 04:17:15 AM by Skimmis » Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #7 on: March 03, 2011, 01:05:47 PM »

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12619580

Bangladesh: Muhammad Yunus disputes Grameen sacking
Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus Prof Yunus and the Bangladeshi government have increasingly been at loggerheads


Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has said that he will fight attempts to remove him from the Grameen microfinance bank which he founded.

The central bank sacked him saying he was past retirement age and had been improperly installed in his post.

Grameen Bank disputes the accusations. It says it is taking legal advice and that Prof Yunus remains in office.

Prof Yunus pioneered micro-lending to the poor but has been under pressure from the government to step down.

The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan in Dhaka says that the effort to remove Prof Yunus is the culmination of a long-running feud with the government, which has been taking a series of measures in recent months to remove him.
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #8 on: March 07, 2011, 01:54:45 PM »

http://www.gopetition.com/petition/42857.html

"We Stand in Support of Professor Muhammad Yunus Against the Corruption Investigations by the Government of Bangladesh
   455 Signatures  [View this Petition's Signature Map]
[Sign Petition]
Published by Samantha Caccamo on Feb 10, 2011
Target: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Government of Bangladesh
Region: Bangladesh
Tweet this petition:
   
Background (Preamble):
From an article by Nicholas Kristof "Is Bangladesh trying to take over Grameen Bank", the New York Times, January 5, 2011

There seems to be a multi-pronged assault on Grameen Bank and on Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role pioneering microfinance. The Bangladeshi press has lately been full of denunciations of Yunus. On Tuesday, for example, one Bangladeshi news organization quoted an economist as saying of him: “A lot about him is just myth. He had never been selfless in any of his initiatives.”

Meanwhile the Bangladeshi government has ordered a corruption investigation of Grameen after a Norwegian television documentary raised questions, even though the Norwegian government said there was nothing to the charges. There have also been false published reports that Yunus will resign and suggestions that he should retire for reasons of age. And it seems the government of Sheikh Hasina wants to revise the ownership of Grameen Bank so that it would be 60 percent government-owned."
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Skimmis
Kiva Supporter
*****
Gender: Male
Posts: 1430



View Profile
WWW
« Reply To This #9 on: March 07, 2011, 01:56:07 PM »

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Nobel+winner+fights+keep+poverty+eradication+bank/4393155/story.html

"A long-running vendetta between the government of Bangladesh and the country’s Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Muhammad Yunus came to the boil last week when the champion of fighting poverty with small business startup loans was ordered to quit the leadership of his Grameen Bank.

But a spokesman for the bank, general manager Jannat-e-Kownine, said Yunus will stay on as managing director while he challenges in court the order from the Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank. The Bangladeshi High Court heard arguments from lawyers at the end of last week.

The picayune grounds for demanding Yunus’s removal underline the view that this is a political vendetta against him.

The Bangladesh Bank says Yunus should have retired 10 years ago at age 60, and a decision by the Grameen Bank board to allow him to continue indefinitely is invalid because the central bank did not approve it.

The move to oust Yunus comes after several years of sometimes bitter animosity toward him from Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, who is thought to see him as a potential political rival. She once denounced Yunus as a “bloodsucker of the poor.”

The efforts to remove Yunus from the bank also come at a time of widespread controversy and debate over the concept for which he and his bank won the 2006 Nobel Prize for alleviating poverty by providing small loans, primarily to women, to start small businesses such as kiosk shops, tea stalls or small agricultural livestock enterprises.

But microfinance, as it is called, has become a hugely profitable business worldwide as moneylenders have cashed in on investors’ belief that they can do good for the poor and make money at the same time.

One Indian microloan company, Swayam Krishi Sangham, founded as a charity in 1998 and subsequently transformed into a for-profit enterprise, last year raised $358 million in an initial public offering. The latest figures available from the Microfinance Information Exchange say there are 92.4 million microborrowers worldwide who have loans totalling $65.1 billion from 1,800 lenders.

But from South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the poorer parts of eastern Europe have come numerous stories of excessively high interest rates being charged and strong-arm tactics being used by lenders if the women don’t have their weekly repayments.

The Indian state of Andhra Pradesh last year legislated a raft of rules and regulations governing microfinancing after it appeared that 50 people, mostly women, committed suicide when they were unable to pay back their loans.

Some critics contend that far from being a “silver bullet” to make poverty history, the system has driven the very poorest of people into the hands of loan sharks.

With interest rates charged by some microloan companies ranging anywhere from 40 per cent to as high as 100 per cent, some analysts contend that up to 60 per cent of borrowers have to take out multiple loans to make repayments.

In Bangladesh the interest rate that can be charged has been pegged at a maximum of 27 per cent.

The defenders of Yunus contend that many of these microloan companies have perverted his concept. The viability of the system, which usually sees over 90 per cent of the Grameen Bank’s customers making repayments without problems, should not be judged by how unscrupulous operators have used it.

At the moment Grameen – the word means “village” in Bengali – has 8.3 million customers, most of them poor women, and $10 billion in loans. This represents about a third of the microloan business in Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Hasina lashed out at the Grameen Bank at a press conference last year.

The bank, she said, has been “sucking money out of the people after giving them loans. There has been no improvement in the lifestyle of the poor so far. They were just used as pawns to get more aid.”

Hasina also attacked Yunus directly, accusing him of playing “a trick” to avoid taxes after donations from the Norwegian government were found to have been transferred without permission from the Grameen Bank to an associated foundation, Grameen Kalyan.

An investigation by the Norwegian government found that while it was technically a breach of the agreement under which the money was donated, no money had gone missing and the matter was corrected without problem or loss.

But that conclusion has not stopped rumours about the Grameen Bank or the apparent determination of Hasina to humble Yunus.

The reason usually given for her apparent resentment is that she sees his high international profile and his brief flirtation with the idea of starting his own political party after a military coup in 2007 as a threat to her own supremacy.

That may be true, but there is also undoubtedly the factor that governments, especially in developing countries, don’t like having the opportunity to dispense patronage aid to the poor wrenched from their grasp.

jmanthorpe@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Nobel+winner+fights+keep+poverty+eradication+bank/4393155/story.html#ixzz1FwRCs8mU
"
Logged

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Get free extra space on Dropbox!
https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTI4NjUyNDY5?src=referrals_fb_post9

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/freetrial   free trial on Kiva!
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Bookmark This  |  E-Mail This  |  Print It  
 
Jump to:  

 
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Thanks to PixelSlot
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.211 seconds with 23 queries.