In a press release Dr. Yunus said, "I am today relinquishing the post of managing director of Grameen Bank." On this press release he also mentioned that he took that step to prevent undue disruption of the activities of Grameen Bank and to ensure that his colleagues and eight million members of the bank 'are not subjected to any difficulty.
Deputy managing director Nurjahan Begum will replace him. She will be in charge until a managing director is appointed in accordance with the Grameen Bank ordinance. Earlier in the day, finance minister A M A Muhith announced that Nurjahan will function as the acting managing director until the appointment of a full-fledged MD and added, "We'll find a new managing director in three months." Mr Muhith also ruled out the chance to appoint Dr. Yunus as chairman of Grameen Bank.
Yunus' announcement of resignation follows just week after The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has dismissed two petitions by him and and his loyalists to reverse a High Court judgment on his sacking from the position of Managing Director of the Grameen Bank.
Yunus, 71, began the legal battle in early March when the central bank dismissed him as Grameen Bank’s managing director, saying he has violated the organization’s retirement rules.
Recently, Mr. Yunus has been under pressure at home. In addition to his legal troubles, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused Grameen Bank and other microfinance institutions of charging high interest rates and “sucking blood from the poor borrowers.” Many observers say Yunus attracted the ire of Awami League and other political parties when he made a failed attempt to float a political party during the military-backed caretaker government, at a time when political leaders were being arrested wholesale and put in jail. Many think Awami League still holds Yunus as a potential political rival. But the way the government tried to disgrace Yunus, stunned many -- both at home and abroad. The international community soon rallied behind the man who many consider as the capitalists' new hero.
With his forced exit, the microfinance institution's journey of over 30 years enters a different stage. Countries across the world, including the USA, China, and India embraced his model of microfinance. With his sheer energy, international repute and style, Yunus managed to raise Grameen, that started with two staff, to a level where it now has 20,000 employees and 83.5 lakh borrowers. It has distributed Tk 60,400 crore in loans as of January, and has also created 18 other affiliated social concerns.
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