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Bangladesh govt to review Nobel-winning microlender's activities

Publication Date : 17-05-2012


The government of Bangladesh yesterday formed a commission to review the activities of the country's Nobel Peace Prize-winning microlender Grameen Bank and its associated organisations, and make recommendations on how to run the organisations.

The move comes a week after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's two-day visit to Bangladesh when she said the US government would not endorse any action of the Bangladesh government undermining Grameen Bank's achievement.

Bank and Financial Institutions Division issued a circular on formation of the commission under The Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1956, and asked the commission to submit a report within three months.

Former secretary Mamunur Rashid will head the commission. Other members of the commission are: barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Mosleh Uddin Ahmed and Director General of Planning and Development Academy M.A. Kamal.

The terms of reference (TOR) of the commission are to identify institutional strengths, weaknesses and constraints of Grameen Bank, as evidenced in the years of its existence since its inception in 1983 till 2010.

The commission will recommend measures for good governance, accountability of the management and transparency in the bank, which together with its founder Prof Muhammad Yunus won Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for "efforts to create economic and social development".

The TOR specified five areas for the commission to look into the purposes, legal status and operations of the bank's associated institutions.

The TOR include the organisations' legal and financial relations to Grameen Bank; their contribution to Grameen Bank's objectives and targets; their organisational, management and financial structures; and the succession rules for the ownership and management of these institutions.

Grameen Bank has 54 associated organisations.

The commission will also review the regulatory institutions and mechanism of Grameen Bank and recommend ways to bring it under the purview of state regulatory agencies.


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