Dhaka: The Bangladesh government has told a top US official that Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus can return to the Grameen Bank but as its honorary chief, not as the managing director.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith said after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her colleagues met US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake on Sunday that "Yunus must leave the post of managing director".
Muhith ruled out the possibility of appointing Yunus as the Grameen chairman -- a solution proposed by the Nobel laureate himself to ensure a smooth handover of leadership to the next managing director.
"A committee has been formed to look into the issue of Grameen Bank. It will also look into the restructuring of the bank. We will have to wait until the committee submits its report," The Daily Star quoted Muhith as saying.
Dhaka told Blake that Yunus, who has challenged his removal before the Supreme Court, should withdraw his petition.
Blake told the Bangladesh leadership that "there is still room for compromise".
"Such a compromise will also allow us to continue very good progress that we made in our bilateral relations," Blake told journalists after an hour-long meeting with Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes.
Blake, on a four-day visit to Bangladesh, said: "We discussed Yunus, and I expressed our hope that a compromise will be found that will ensure the integrity and independence of the Grameen Bank."
Early this month, Bangladesh Bank dismissed 70-year-old Yunus as managing director of Grameen Bank saying he was holding the post illegally beyond his 60-year retirement age.
First Published: Monday, March 21, 2011, 15:33