Bdesh govt, Yunus talks in positive direction

Dhaka: Negotiations to resolve the issue of unceremonious dismissal of Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus progressed towards a "positive direction" with both sides softening their stance for an amicable settlement, a highly placed official source said here on Wednesday.

"I can tell you this much despite earlier uncertainties, the process is on progress towards honourable solution to the crisis," the official source, familiar with the "compromise process" told PTI preferring anonymity.

He declined to predict when the outcome of the talks could be made public but said both the government and Yunus softened their stance towards reaching an "amicable solution" of the crisis erupted after the removal of 70-year old microcredit pioneer from his Grameen Bank.

His comments came as in a related development the 70-year old microcredit pioneer appeared before a five-member government committee constituted in January this year to "review" the Grameen Bank transactions.

Committee`s chair Monwar Ahmed Khan said Yunus told the committee that he now was thinking how he could be associated with the Grameen Bank in an "alternative way" as he joined the meeting with his deputy in the Grameen Bank Nurjahan Begum.

Khan told newsmen that the Nobel Laureate economist informed the committee that despite his plan to retire long ago, he could not quit the micro lending agency which he had founded 30 years ago due to earnest requests of the employees.

"The meeting with committee also discussed about the future of Grameen Bank" which Yunus had founded 30 years ago, he said.

A senior government leader earlier last night said "no one sided" solution to the issue of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was possible despite the government`s willingness for an "honourable settlement."

"We always wanted an honourable resolution to the issue. But one sided solution to the problem is not possible unless all the sides come forward," local government minister and ruling Awami League`s general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam told newsmen last night emerging from a party meeting as approached by newsmen.

He declined to elaborate on the issue since the matter was pending for a Supreme Court decision but added that "it was not the government, but Yunus who dragged it to the court."

Islam`s comments came amid growing international criticism against Yunus`s unceremonious dismissal from the pioneering microfinance bank that he founded three decades ago.

The apex Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday adjourned until April 4 the hearing on Yunus`s appeal against his removal from the Grameen Bank amid reports of a negotiation process for an amicable settlement of the issue outside the court.