Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Yunus resigns from Grameen Bank

10:10, May 13, 2011      

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Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Yunus Thursday night announced his resignation from the Grameen Bank Managing Director's position.

"I am today (Thursday) relinquishing the post of Managing Director of Grameen Bank," he said in a statement.

He said he took this step in order to "prevent undue disruption of the activities of Grameen Bank and to ensure my colleagues and our eight million members, and owners of the bank, are not subjected to any difficulty in discharging their responsibilities. "

Earlier in the day, Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith announced that Deputy Managing Director Nurjahan Begum will be the stand-in Managing Director until the appointment of a full-fledged one.

Muhammad Yunus lost his final legal battle on May 5 against the High Court judgment on his removal from Grameen Bank as the appellate division of Bangladeshi Supreme Court (SC) declined to recall its earlier order.

Yunus sought withdrawal of the SC order on April 5 that dismissed his leave-to-appeal petition filed against the High Court verdict on April 3 upholding the Bangladesh Bank order removing him from the post.

The High Court Division bench of Bangladesh on March 8 dismissed the Nobel laureate's writ petition filed on March 3 challenging the legality of the central bank order which had dispelled him from the post of Grameen Bank managing director.

Yunus was relieved by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) on March 2 from his position as the Managing Director in the Grameen Bank, with which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

The High Court bench said the micro-credit pioneer's serving as the Managing Director of the Grameen Bank since 1999 was illegal as he was then beyond 60 years old. The Managing Director's position at Grameen Bank is an official one and one cannot hold it for an unlimited period, it added.

BB in its letter said Yunus did not seek its approval when he was reappointed as the Managing Director of the bank in 2000, violating one of the statutes of the partly state-owned Grameen Bank in which the government has 25 percent share.

Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when micro-finance pioneer of Bangladesh Yunus started his campaign to provide loans to the poor, who had always been overlooked by the traditional banks, from Jobra village in the country's southeastern Chittagong.

In October 1983, the Grameen Bank was transformed into an independent bank by government legislation. After development for a few decades, Grameen Bank has now 20,000 employees and more than 8 million borrowers.

Source: Xinhua
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