‘Grameen’ Yunus refutes $100 mn anomalies charge

December 3rd, 2010 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Dec 3 (IANS) Bangladeshi Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus has refuted a charge that
he had transferred $100 million aid meant for his micro-credit bank Grameen to other projects.

The bank’s founder told The Daily Star newspaper that he had done so 14 years ago “to ensure maximum transparency and responsible use of the bank’s revolving fund”.

In Norway, from where the funds came, the government has said it was probing the charge levelled in a TV documentary that alleged that the fund had been transferred to other Grameen projects in breach of contract with the loan givers.

International Development Minister Erik Solheim said that it was “totally unacceptable that aid is used for other purposes than intended”, BBC reported.

A documentary maker has alleged that cash was diverted from Grameen Bank to other parts of Grameen.

The documentary, titled “Caught in Micro Debt”, has alleged that Grameen Bank had transferred about $100 million it received from donors to Grameen Kalyan in 1996 and then got back the money as loan in breach of agreement.

This led to a spat between the Norwegian government and Grameen Bank.

The documentary was aired Tuesday on the National Norwegian Television, NRK.

The episode took place about 14 years ago and it was presumably ironed out as the documentary showed a compromise had been reached concerning transfer of the funds Norway granted to Grameen Bank.

Under the compromise, 170 million Norwegian kroners was transferred back to the bank, the newspaper said.

Grameen Bank said the allegations of fund misuse are false and it will release a detailed statement on the affairs soon.

Grameen Kalyan is a spin-off created in 1996 by Grameen Bank, which set up an internal fund called Social Advancement Fund (SAF) by imputing interest on all the grant money it received from various donors.

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