Yunus Centre response to the various articles published in daily newspapers with the headline “The government will take action against Dr. Yunus’

fr018-tdsOn 9 September  2013 various national dailies and online news media  published reports stating that it was decided at a government cabinet meeting that legal action would be taken against Dr. Muhammad Yunus for issues relating to his foreign earnings and for alleged tax evasion.

The NBR has not stated that the Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has ‘evaded’ tax. It mentions that he asked for an income-tax exemption,  which the NBR in turn had granted him under the provision of the existing laws. There was therefore no legal violation in this regard.

The NBR in their statement mentions that according to the Supreme Court verdict Professor Yunus is a public servant. As such, he needs to inform the government of any earnings, awards and travels to foreign countries. They state that he has not done so, and has therefore broken the law.

Grameen Girls Go Abroad for Higher Education

One of most significant of Grameen Bank members' 16 decisions is the decision they undertake to educate their children. Through this decision taken by millions of Grameen’s borrowers, 100% of the children of GB families are in school. Many of them are going on to further studies and excelling in their chosen fields. In recent years, there is an exciting development that the children of Grameen Bank borrowers who have successfully completed their higher secondary or undergraduate study are getting scholarships to pursue higher studies in various prestigious institutions around the world facilitated, by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. More than 50 students have secured scholarships to pursue studies in various fields around the world.

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Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) scholarships

Among the top scholarship winners are four students from the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing. The top three students who graduated this year have won scholarships to pursue their higher studies at the Glasgow Caledonian University. The students are Rokeya Akter Bristy,  Popi Rani Bhowmik and Satu Mondal. Another young woman Mr Rofiqun Nesa Tuli was awarded special scholarship provided by the CEO of Bangladeshi origin of a US-based multinational company . The scholarship will cover their course fees, accommodation and subsistence, including travel to and from Bangladesh. The students will pursue BSc in Nursing which is a post-basic course that will give them the opportunity to study nursing at an advance level.

Social Businesses Get Funding at the 7th Social Business Design Lab

7thDesignLab

The 7th Social Business Design Lab took place at Yunus Centre on 17 August 2013. Participants from different organizations including Mr. Tapan Chowdhury, former advisor in the caretaker government; Mr. Abdullah Al Mahmud, Chairman of Mahin Group; Dr. Mahmood Hasan, CEO of Gono Shahajjo Shangstha; Mosharraf Hossain, Country Director of Action on Disability and Development; Hasan M. Mazumdar, Country Representative of The Asia Foundation and numerous other national and international NGO representatives, business leaders, educationalists attended the program. It was a day long program with enthusiastic participation from all present.

The Social Business Design Lab is chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. It was divided in three major parts - social business project presentation, update of past social business projects and launch and signing of two social business projects.

PREPARATORY MEETING FOR GARMENT INDUSTRY TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (GITI) IN BERLIN

pmy-berlin1As a follow up of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus a preparatory conference was held in Berlin on August 29, 2013 at the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance on addressing the issues raised in  Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza tragedy. Conference was convened by Yunus Centre and the  Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance to organize a global conference to launch Garment Industry Transparency Initiative (GITI) at the suggestion of Professor Yunus  in the backdrop  of  Rana Plaza tragedy.  Professor Peter Eigen, founder of transparency international, responded positively to the suggestion made by Professor Yunus and took steps to create GITI,  following the example of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). This approach is set out as a joint approach of Governments, factory owners, labor, and the retailing companies, and the civil society in both producing and consuming countries.  It will find an agreement among the involved parties with regard to comprehensive standards on labor conditions.  GITI does not intend want to compete with other initiatives, but rather support these and complement their actions. Founding of GITI is being carried out jointly by Yunus Centre in Dhaka, and the Humboldt-VIADRINA School of Governance in Berlin.

Letter to the honorable Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, on Grameen Bank

LETTER-1

Dear Prime Minister Hasina,

As Members of the United States Congress, we write to urge you to reject the recent recommendations of the Grameen Bank Commission that would jeopardize the role Grameen Bank has played in the critical fight to end poverty in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank has delivered a profound and lasting benefit to the people of Bangladesh. It has allowed millions to lift themselves and their families out of poverty and destitution, creating an independent, borrower-run company that is a model for non-governmental organizations across the globe. Its borrowers 97 percent of whom are women — have demonstrated the power of an economic model centered on equality and inclusion.

Both Bangladesh and the international community have a compelling interest in the safety and soundness of Grameen Bank. However, we are profoundly troubled by recent proposals that would fundamentally alter the future of this Nobel Prize-winning institution.

The Grameen Bank Commission, which was created in May 2012 to offer guidance on the future of Grameen Bank, recently provided the Bangladeshi government with several sets of recommendations. One set would disenfranchise nearly 5 million borrower-shareholders in Grameen Bank and dismiss the borrowers who sit on the Bank’s Board of Directors, replacing them with government officials. A second equally devastating set would give the government a formal majority stake in Grameen Bank, or would break the Bank apart into separate entities with no legal relationship between them.

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