Friday, October 20, 2006

Bangladesh Finance Minister criticises Yunus

This had to happen. Politicians do not like non-politicians becming larger than life. The Daily Star of Bangladesh reports that the minister for Finance and Planning Saifur Rahman has criticised Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Prize winner and his scheme of microcredit with some choice words:
  1. ... true development of the country will be achieved through establishing large-scale industries and modernising agriculture, not by running microcredit programmes.
  2. ... the people of Sylhet region demonstrated against the Grameen Bank during the previous term of the BNP government and he (Saifur) had to go to the spot himself to sort the situation out.
  3. ... the current government has distributed more microcredit loans than the Grameen Bank.
  4. ... none was able to relieve themselves of poverty with the help of microcredit only and they failed to become self-reliant.
  5. ... Yunus was able to win the Nobel Peace Prize only because he has good relations with former US president Bill Clinton and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who helped Yunus in this regard.
But we get to the bottom of the string of accusations, because apparently Yunus has said that he is likely to start a political party. I hope Yunus stays away from the political mess, because he has to do much more in the microfinance industry, and he is the most visible face championing micro credit.

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