Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bangladesh banker Yunus endorses award-winning micro-credit system for India

New Delhi, Jan 30 : Bangladesh's Nobel Peace Prize winning economist Mohammad Yunus on Tuesday advocated the idea of micro crediting for India to benefit the poor in the long run.

Speaking at a business seminar in New Delhi, Yunus said his Grameen Bank would open branches in financial capital Mumbai and strife-torn northeastern Assam.

"Micro credit all over the world, not just Bangladesh demonstrated that it is really workable, doable, sustainable and the repayment is excellent. There are many programmes within India and 100 percent repayment, not 99 but 100 percent repayment, and very good programmes. So we have to sift through which one is arm-twisting programme, which comes in very nicely supportive, that's kind of draw the line between social business of micro-credit and profit maximization of micro credit," Yunus told a business seminar in New Delhi.

Yunus and his creation Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for leveraging small loans into major social change for impoverished families.

The Grameen Bank's pioneering use of micro-credit has been duplicated across the globe in more than 100 nations from the United States of America to Uganda.

The disaster-prone country is one of the worlds most densely populated, with many of its 140 million people struggling to eke out a living.

Loans as low as nine dollars have helped beggars start small businesses and poor women buy cell phones and basket-weaving materials.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have provided the Grameen Bank a .5 million dollars grant to expand its work worldwide.

Yunus launched Grameen Bank after he returned to Bangladesh from the United States to take a teaching job in the economics department at Chittagong University.

Alarmed at the poverty created by ongoing famine, he and his students started an experimental project giving women 27-dollar loans to buy straw to make stools.

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