Hasina proposes Yunus to be World Bank President



Hasina proposes Yunus to be World Bank President Dhaka: In a surprise move, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday proposed that Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus be made the World Bank President, months after he was eased out as the head of the pioneering micro-lending 'Grameen Bank' following a protracted row with her government.

"The Prime Minister has requested the European Union to use its good office for Dr Yunus for the presidency of the World Bank," a senior aide of Hasina said preferring anonymity.

The aide declined to elaborate further but the private UNB news agency, quoting a source familiar with her meeting with a visiting EU delegation said that Hasina, deviating from her harsh criticism of Yunus, appreciated his role in fighting poverty.

According to the source, Hasina noted that 70-year-old Yunus was respected all over the world for his outstanding contribution to alleviating poverty through micro-credit activities.

She made the request when visiting member of EU Parliament Jean Lambert called on her at her office.

Yunus, whose experiment of poor men's banking earned him the Nobel peace prize and Bangladesh the repute of being the home of micro credit, was forced to quit Grameen Bank, which he founded nearly three decades ago, in May last year.

The Nobel laureate resigned after he lost his final legal battle in the apex court to thwart a Bangladesh Bank decision removing him from the position two and half months ago against the backdrop of his widely visible dispute with Hasina.

Hasina's request to Lambert came despite the Obama administration's assertion that it would have an American at the helm of affairs at the World Bank, whose President Robert Zoellick's term is expiring on June 30.

PTI