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US concerned over move to curb independence of Grameen Bank

US on Sunday appealed to the Bangladeshi government to ensure independence of the pioneering micro lending agency.



Washington: Expressing deep concern over the recent move on the selection of a new managing director of the Grameen Bank, US on Sunday appealed to the Bangladeshi government to ensure independence of the pioneering micro lending agency.

"The US is deeply concerned about recent actions the Government of Bangladesh has taken to give the government appointed chairman of the Grameen Bank Board control over the selection of the bank`s new managing director," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.

This move would diminish the role the largely female borrower-shareholders play in shaping the direction of an institution that has made a difference to millions of impoverished women in Bangladesh, and indeed around the world, the spokesman said in a strongly worded statement.

During her May visit to Dhaka, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to take no actions that would undermine Grameen Bank.

"We are concerned that the latest actions by the government could threaten the future of the bank, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus," the spokesman said.

"We call on the Government of Bangladesh to respect the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of Grameen Bank," Ventrell said.

"We urge the Bangladeshi Government to ensure transparency in the selection of a new managing director who has unquestioned integrity, competence, and dedication to preserving Grameen Bank, its unique governance structure, and its effectiveness in bringing development and hope to 8.3 million of Bangladesh`s most vulnerable citizens, mostly women," the US official said.

On August 2, Bangladeshi cabinet had demanded explanation from concerned government offices about the legality of Yunus`s continuation in office as its Grameen Bank`s managing director after 61 years of age and amount he drew from the bank as salary and allowances following his retention to the post of MD after 60 years of his age.

PTI

From Zee News

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