Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Bangladesh to investigate money diverting claims against Yunus' Grameen Bank

The controversy surrounding accusations a Norwegian documentary made against Muhammad Yunus' Grameen Bank has taken another step. The government of Bangladesh is going to begin its own investigation into the claims.

A TV documentary said that a loan made from the Norwegian government to Grameen Bank was diverted into another Grameen company. The loan was meant to aid low income housing. Grameen has other companies that serve the interest of the poor in addition to the microcredit bank.

The matter does appear to already have been settled between the Bank and Norway but the TV show has stirred the pot again.

From Monsters and Critics, we find out more about this new investigation on some old news.

Nobody is above the law, no matter how big or how honourable he or she is; finding out the truth is more important,' Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters Tuesday.

Yunus, a Bangladeshi economist, is founder of the micro-credit organization Grameen Bank. He was awarded the peace prize in 2006.

Norwegian state television last week reported that Yunus had diverted nearly 100 million dollars in aid from Norway, meant to support the poor through micro-credit programmes, to one of his own companies.

In Oslo, Environment and International Development Minister Erik Solheim appeared to be reassured, citing a fresh report he commissioned from development aid agency Norad.

The measures were taken in 1998, the report said.

'According to the report, there is no indication that Norwegian funds
have been used for unintended purposes, or that Grameen Bank has engaged in corrupt practices or embezzled funds,' Solheim said in a statement.

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