Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday praised Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus for giving microcredit an institutional shape in the country by setting up Grameen Bank.
He said in the past microcredit activities were led by individuals and everything collapsed when they had gone.
“Yunus first set up a system which is not dependent on an individual. The system is now Grameen Bank,” he said speaking at the launch of a report on financial institutions at the secretariat in the capital.
Muhith, however, said despite developing a system Prof Yunus himself has “become Grameen Bank”.
“This has created all the wrangling between him and us. We have no other problems. His system is very good,” he said.
The minister said Grameen Bank needs further development but the government cannot progress on it because of Prof Yunus.
He said the cases filed by supporters of the microcredit pioneer are stalling the development of Grameen Bank.
“As a result, we have not been able to take any step in the last five years. It is very unfortunate,” he regretted.
Muhith also said microcredit has become an important part of the country's financial sector and is a very significant element of the economy.
Institutional microcredit was four percent of the total domestic credit in 1980s, according to the banking survey of 1986. It accounted for about Tk 60,000 crore in 2013 out of the country's total credit flow of Tk 500,000 crore.