Md Yunus cleared from mishandling of foreign fund

Mohammed Yunus was cleared of misappropriating Norwegian aid money for Grameen Bank.

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 00:47 AM IST

Dhaka: Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus was
on Monday cleared of misappropriating Norwegian aid money for his
Grameen Bank by an official committee but the finding is
unlikely to change the Bangladesh government`s decision to see
his ouster.

The report comes nearly two months after Yunus, a
celebrated pioneer of micro-finance, was forced out on March 2
from the Grameen Bank which he founded nearly three decades
ago.

Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith today said the
committee appointed by the government to investigate Grameen
Bank`s operations has found no evidence of financial
irregularities.

"The (government) review committee said it did not
find any irregularity in handling of the foreign fund," he
told newsmen as the committee submitted its 50-page report.
He said the committee also found that the effective
interest rate of the micro financier -- 20 percent on basis
loans -- was the lowest compared to other micro lending agency
of the country.

"The committee has given its report within its purview
and now the government will take the next step," Muhith said.

The panel also found no truth in allegations that the
Bank charged excessive interest rates on loans to the poor.

Yunus` dismissal was upheld by the High Court and
Supreme Court -- on the grounds that he had overstayed in his
position and ignored requests to step down.

Local media quoted officials and experts as saying
that the government`s decision to fire Yunus as the bank`s
managing director is unlikely to be changed as he had
overstayed the official retirement age for bank chiefs in
Bangladesh of 60 years.

PTI