rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Nobel laureate Yunus stashed away $100 million?

Nobel laureate Yunus stashed away $100 million?

Last updated on: December 1, 2010 17:42 IST

Nobel laureate Yunus stashed away $100 million?

     Next

Next

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been accused of stashing some $100 million originally for microcredit operations of his Grameen Bank to his another venture in 1996, breaching agreements with donors and violating the country's financial rules.

Norwegian National Television aired a documentary earlier on Wednesday alleging that Yunus drew off nearly Tk 7 billion ($100 million) in aid for poor borrowers of Grameen Bank to another of his company, BDNews24 news agency reported.

It said the media investigation titled 'Fanget I Mikrogjeld' -- or 'Caught in micro debt' -- showed Yunus transferred the money to Grameen Kalyan, a voluntary healthcare programme of poor, "which was in no way involved with microcredit operations".

The 70-year-old Yunus, whose experiment of poor men's banking earned Bangladesh the repute of being the home of microcredit, was immediately unavailable for comments as he is on a tour abroad but a Grameen Bank spokeswoman told PTI they were preparing a statement to negate the report.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

Nobel laureate Yunus stashed away $100 million?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The documentary quoted Prof Jonathan Morduch of New York University saying that Grameen Bank received $175 million in subsidies through Norwegian aid agency Norad for offering tiny loans to ultra poor people.

"When the Norway embassy, Norwegian aid agency Norad and the Economic Relations Division in Bangladesh demanded that he return the money to Grameen Bank, the microcredit guru gave back less than some Tk 2 billion ($30 million) of the 100 million. The remainder remained with Grameen Kalyan," the report said.

The report, however, acknowledged that the money was transferred under an agreement between Grameen Bank and Grameen Kalyan in 1996.

Director of the film Tom Heinemann said he failed to speak to Yunus for comments despite his repeated attempts while the microcredit guru in his desperate effort to conceal the anomaly from being made public wrote a personal letter on April 1, 1998 to the then CEO of the Norwegian aid agency.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Photographs: Rediff Archive
Prev     Next

Nobel laureate Yunus stashed away $100 million?

Prev     More
Prev

More

"If the people, within and outside government, who are not supportive of Grameen, get hold of this letter, we'll face real problems in Bangladesh," he wrote, according to the documentary.

"And Norad, the Norwegian Embassy and the Bangladeshi authorities kept their mouths shut," it added.

The money was from foreign grants from countries including Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany, and the transaction took place at the end of 1996.


Photographs: Rediff Archive
Prev     More
© Copyright 2014 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.