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Monday, August 6, 2012
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US worried at govt actions on Grameen Bank

Calls for transparency in MD selection process

The USA yesterday expressed deep concern about the Bangladesh government's move to give the Grameen Bank chairman control over the selection of the bank's new managing director.

It also urged the Bangladesh government to ensure transparency in the selection of a new managing director for the bank.

“The United States is deeply concerned about recent actions the Government of Bangladesh has taken to give the government-appointed chairman of the Grameen Bank Board control over the selection of the bank's new managing director,” Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesperson, Office of Press Relations of US Department of State, said in a statement.

This move would diminish the role the largely female borrower-shareholders play in shaping the direction of an institution that has made a difference to millions of impoverished women in Bangladesh, and indeed around the world, read the statement issued in Washington DC.

During her May visit to Dhaka, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to take no actions that would undermine Grameen Bank, it said.

“We are concerned that the latest actions by the government could threaten the future of the bank, which was founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

“We call on the Government of Bangladesh to respect the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of Grameen Bank. We urge the Bangladeshi Government to ensure transparency in the selection of a new managing director who has unquestioned integrity, competence, and dedication to preserving Grameen Bank, its unique governance structure, and its effectiveness in bringing development and hope to 8.3 million of Bangladesh's most vulnerable citizens, mostly women.”

The cabinet in a meeting on Thursday approved a proposal for amending an ordinance to give more powers to the Grameen Bank chairman to choose the managing director of the microlender.

US Senator Barbara Boxer has called on the Bangladesh government to stop interfering in the management of Grameen Bank.

“I am deeply disappointed in the Bangladesh government's efforts to exert control over Grameen Bank,” she said in a statement issued in Washington DC on Friday.

“This move threatens the ability of millions of Bangladeshi women to find a path out of poverty. Critical decisions regarding the Grameen Bank's leadership should be left to the Board of Directors so that the bank can continue its vital work helping Bangladeshis start businesses and provide for their families.”

Grameen Bank is an important institution that provides loans and other assistance to 8.3 million borrowers, mostly women, said Senator Boxer.

She asked the government to stop interfering, so the borrowers can gain financial independence and help support their families.

The US senator argued that the Bank's Board of Directors, which includes nine women elected by the Bank's shareholders, should be empowered to appoint a permanent individual to the position of managing director.

On June 27, Boxer led the 17 women of the US senate in writing to Hasina, urging her to allow the Bank's Board of Directors to appoint the chief executive.

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Of course tranparency is needed. But in the name of legal step and transparency , a noted institution(grammen bank) cannot be ruined.Since the bank is a nobel prize winner, the global community like the USA cannot remain silent.

: Saleh Md. Shahriar

USA closed 200 banks in the last three years. Now, worried about a bank in Bangladesh.

: wahid


  • Shabbir A. Bashar
    Monday, August 6, 2012 01:51 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Good for you Barabara ... now would you also figure out how the bankers in the USA continue to make such a mess of the mortgage and loans using tax payer money and yet pay themselves fat bonuses year after year. With all due respect Senator, as a Democrat, I urge the US to firmly focus on domestic issues before it is too late and the middle class is destroyed by the greed of the at the top.

  • Shah Asad Ahmed
    Monday, August 6, 2012 02:47 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    The drama will result in nothing but heighten the honour of the only Nobel laureate of Bangladesh. It also attracts many people including commoners with an agenda to talk about leaving aside most important issues like violation of the human rights out of the focus.

  • Mustaq Ahmed,Ohio USA
    Monday, August 6, 2012 03:58 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Daily Star don't publish a single comment of me. Please explain is there any censorship.

  • dr islam
    Monday, August 6, 2012 06:16 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Our government completely failed to understand that GB is an institution of utmost global importance and of immense value to the have nots of the whole planet. We are shocked and bewildered like the whole world

  • sheikh kamal
    Monday, August 6, 2012 06:36 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Why the PM and her advisers are so much against the Nobel Laureate?

  • N. Alamgir
    Monday, August 6, 2012 07:08 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Why is our govt. out to destroy Grameen Bank? This bank has brought name and fame with many counties of the world. In the process, relations with EU countries and USA are becoming sourer. If such destructive policies are continued, at whose interests is anybody's guess, donor agencies would refuse to contribute to the infrastructure and social development of the country which would seriously affect the country's socioeconomic growth.

  • Reaz Hassan
    Monday, August 6, 2012 10:50 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Why is this expression of concern on the part of the United States? Whenever there is talk of reform or issues regarding Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank, US administration shows its extraordinary inclination to meddle. This is morally indefensible and against our-self respect and dignity. Do they not understand this?

  • Objective Observer
    Monday, August 6, 2012 11:25 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    This is our country and this is our government-- right or wrong. If one government commits any wrong, another will put it to right. But it is not understood as to Why US should be involved in our internal affairs. Are we subjects of the US government? This really sounds shady. We have not forgotten that Bangladesh came into being despite bitter opposition from the US government and Inshallah it will exist despite it's various ploy to undermine us..

  • Nasim Hasan
    Monday, August 6, 2012 11:29 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    We are also concerned. But the topic is not limited to GB only, but hundreds of other factors. Our markets are flooded with fake money; still the government says there is nothing to worry about. We are continuously being insulted by the acts of our so-called politicians, both nationally and internationally. It seems like there is no end of it. People of Bangladesh are paying for the sin they have made by electing them over and over.

  • Imran, USA
    Monday, August 6, 2012 11:44 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    USA concerned about Grameen Bank,and USA is right.

  • Amdem, USA
    Monday, August 6, 2012 12:32 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated to Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Bangladesh that she (Hillary) would not appreciate any change in the Grameen Bank. She was actually against government takeover of the Bank. By the proposed change in the Bank the government is challenging the power of the United States. This is, so to say, a clash of power. While we do not make any comment on the result of the clash, the US may put Bangladesh in many difficult situations which will adversely affect the country. Diplomatic challenge is not a very thoughtful foreign policy.

  • A Bangalee
    Monday, August 6, 2012 12:36 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    The Chairman of Grameen Bank being a government man will necessarily pick up a government man as Managing Director, There will never be any transparency in this case. The intention of the government is to bring Grameen Bank under its complete control.

  • Translucent
    Monday, August 6, 2012 12:59 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    An institution founded by a Nobel laureate and owned by over 8m poor women needs to be protected. This is what is expected of the US.

  • Bonnie Rashid
    Monday, August 6, 2012 01:24 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    Not only for international community, GB is an institution that reflects our national pride. We the citizens should go to any lengths to protect GB's integrity.

  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Monday, August 6, 2012 01:28 AM GMT+06:00 (183 weeks ago)

    We are already in isolated from other country except India for our palaver diplomacy..Goverrnment is hell bent on to offened the US,EU by made a hash on Grameen issue.One by one avenue is closing in diplomacy for Hasina's intransigents mindset.If US,EU took umbrage at Hasina on Grameen issue it would be a disastorous consequence on our economy.AL government should not run against the grains.





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