Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus yesterday said he will urge people to vote for the parties that will return Grameen Bank to its original shape.
“People should vote for the parties that will come forward to make necessary amendments [to the Grameen Bank act],” he told some Bangladeshi reporters here.
His comments came two days after parliament ratified the Grameen Bank Act, 2013, replacing the Grameen Bank Ordinance, 1983.
The passage of the new law, said the founder of GB, was very unfortunate for Grameen Bank, which was created as a bank owned and managed by poor women.
“Its legal structure didn't allow any government interference of any kind, except for regulatory oversight. But the new law has created scopes for the government to interfere,” mentioned Yunus.
The only alternative left for the supporters and well-wishers of the bank is to convince people that a major mistake was committed through the enactment of the new law, he added.
“We'll have to tell people that we have to correct this mistake. They should elect such parties that will make this wrong right. There is no other alternative.”
Yunus, however, said he does not think that the bank's function would come to a halt immediately just because of the new law, which, many believe, would ensure the government's total control of the bank.
“But the bank's activities will be disrupted whenever the government exercises its power. Then the bank will not be able to operate in the way it has operated so far.”
“And gradually the bank will move towards destruction. So, we will have to try hard to return the bank to its previous shape,” he added.
There would have been no problem had the government just translated the ordinance into Bengali and made a new law keeping the provisions unchanged, as has been done in the cases of some other ordinances. But the government has not done so, mentioned Yunus.
He is now in the Malaysian capital to join the fifth Global Social Business Summit. The three-day annual event opened in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday on the theme “Social business to change the world”.
This year, 600 participants from around 40 countries, including 100 from Bangladesh, are attending the programme.
According to constitutional provisions, the next parliamentary election should be held before January 25 next year.