16 February, 2017
In the last several days there have been strong accusations made against Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus by the top lawmakers of the country including the Honorable Prime Minister, her son, ICT Advisor to the PM, as well as a number of Ministers and Members of Parliament through posts on Facebook, on the floor of the Parliament, at press conference as well as in policy meetings, where he has been accused in harshest language and terms of being behind creating false allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge project and the suspension of funds for Padma Bridge. Professor Yunus has never made any statement private or publicly to anyone about the possibility of corruption in the Padma Bridge project at any time. We condemn the false and baseless accusation against Professor Yunus. On the contrary, Professor Yunus made repeated statements beginning as early as in 2011 that he supports the Padma Bridge project, stating that it is the dream of millions of people of Bangladesh, and would never stand in the way of its realization. He has repeated this on many occasions including as recently as January 28, 2017 when Honorable Prime Minister accused him on the floor of the Parliament. We reiterate this one more time.
In addition to the accusations of Padma Bridge, several papers report quoting unnamed sources that NBR has imposed a fine on Tk 69 lacs on Professor Yunus. This is also an untrue statement. Professor Yunus does not have any outstanding tax claim or fine pending payment. We have repeated on a number of occasions that Professor Yunus pays all of his taxes fully and on due time. All relevant information regarding his earnings and taxes are in the possession of the NBR. He has within his lawful rights contested certain tax claims made recently which he felt were unjustified in a court of law. The matter is still with the court, and he will comply with whatever decision the court takes.