News / Asia

Yunus Loses Final Legal Battle to Challenge Sacking from Grameen Bank

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, center, comes out of the High Court in Dhaka, Bangladesh (File Photo - March 3, 2011)
Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, center, comes out of the High Court in Dhaka, Bangladesh (File Photo - March 3, 2011)
Anjana Pasricha

In Bangladesh, the supreme court has dismissed a final attempt by microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus to challenge his sacking as head of Grameen Bank, which he founded three decades ago.

After a brief hearing, a seven-member bench of the supreme court dismissed two petitions seeking to overturn the sacking of Muhammad Yunus as head of Grameen Bank. The petitions had been filed by Yunus and nine directors of the bank.

Tuesday’s order ends a two-month legal battle by the Nobel laureate to save his job as head of the institution which extends tiny loans to poor people.

Age discrimination?

Yunus, 70, was dismissed for staying past the retirement age of 60. His supporters believe he was politically targeted for briefly trying to start his own political party in 2007.

The debate in Bangladesh is now moving to how the controversy will impact the work for which Yunus won international acclaim and a Nobel prize in 2006. His concept of microfinance is credited with helping millions of poor people in Bangladesh and other parts of the world.

Stability

Debapriya Bhattacharya heads the Center for Policy Dialogue in Dhaka and is a public policy analyst. He says the government must ensure that Grameen Bank’s stability is not affected. The bank has more than eight million borrowers, spread across more than 80,000 villages,
and is a significant feature of the country’s rural economy.

He says the government must also clarify its policy toward numerous other microcredit institutions which are working in the country.

"Given what has happened to the Grameen Bank’s leadership transition, it is important to note that the other microcredit operators at the field level should not feel threatened," he said. "No atmosphere of hostility should be created so that they do not feel it is not Grameen, but it is microcredit, as a whole, which is being challenged. It is very important for the government to reassure all these thousands of microcredit organizations operating in the field so that they do not feel any adverse environment. "

No worries

The government has dismissed concerns that Grameen Bank will be affected by the removal of Yunus. However, fears about the government’s attitude to microfinance institutions arose after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called Yunus a “blood sucker of the poor.”

In recent years, microfinance institutions have faced criticism for charging high interest rates. In neighboring India, local governments have accused some microcredit lenders of predatory practices aimed more at enriching investors than helping the poor.

But most economists say microfinance has played a useful role in poverty alleviation in one of the world’s poorest countries. They say the loans, given without collateral, also help poor people overcome crises such as illness or loss of job.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid