Yunus' age a legal issue | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 02, 2011

Yunus' age a legal issue

Says Muhith

The Bangladesh Bank's assertion about Prof Muhammad Yunus working as the managing director of Grameen Bank beyond his retirement age is a legal issue and the government will look into it, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.
“We have received a letter from the Bangladesh Bank (BB), where it said that Prof Yunus has been illegally holding the post of the chief executive. Now we will see what to do,” he told the media at his secretariat office, adding that it is not yet the time to disclose anything on the matter in details.
The minister's comment came a day after the BB sent a letter to the finance ministry.
The letter expressed the opinion that Nobel laureate Yunus, 70, has passed the retirement age limit of 60 years and must step down. His holding of the post is against the Grameen Bank charter.
Khondoker Muzammel Huq, chairman of Grameen Bank, presented a copy of the BB letter at a regular board meeting of the microfinance institution Monday.
“No approval on the extension of the retirement age has been obtained for Prof Yunus from the Bangladesh Bank,” Muzammel, who served under Yunus between 1982 and 2003, told The Daily Star after the board meeting.
Meanwhile, the finance minister, who met US Ambassador James Moriarty on Monday to talk about Yunus, told AFP yesterday that the government intends to deal with the banker “gracefully”.
“They [the United States] said they want us to treat him [Yunus] with respect. We told them that Yunus is the pride of Bangladesh,” Muhith told the news agency.
The central bank's letter came in the wake of a controversy surrounding Grameen Bank and its founder, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for lending small loans to poor entrepreneurs.
Supporters of Yunus, including former Irish President Mary Robinson who is leading an international effort “Friends of Grameen” to protect Yunus and his organisation, say there is a campaign of politically orchestrated attacks on the Nobel laureate.
The campaign comes as Yunus faces intense pressure following the release of a Norwegian documentary in December last year, which accused him and Grameen Bank of malpractice.
The Norwegian government has already conducted an investigation and cleared Yunus of any wrongdoing over the use of its funds.

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