Exceeds 13000 Businesses: 481st Social Business Design Lab will invest in Six More Small Businesses

Press Release (February 14, 2017)

Investments into six more social businesses in addition to 13000 already financed were announced on Tuesday, 14th February, 2017 at the 481st Social Business Design Lab. The New Entrepreneurs, children of Grameen Bank borrowers are seen in the photo with Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. Photo: Yunus Centre

The 481st Social Business Design Lab organized by Yunus Centre took place on 14 February 2017 at the Grameen Bank Auditorium with nearly 160 national and international participants from USA, Japan and South Korea. The Design Lab, broadcast live on YouTube, was chaired by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Six new Nobin Udyokta (New Entrepreneur) business plans were presented at today's lab. All Nobin Udyokta businesses, presented at the Design Lab are the children of Grameen Bank borrowers’ families.

Participatory Democracy Will Not Materialise Without Participatory Economy: Yunus

Press Release (February 12, 2017)

Three Day National Women’s Parliament begins in Amaravati, India

Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andha Pradesh, India and  Kodela Siva Prasad Rao, Speaker of State Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh felicitating Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus for his contributions to society  during the inaugural session of the three-day National Women’s Parliament (NWP), organized by Andhra Pradesh (AP) Legislative Assembly.  Photo: Collected

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus termed financial service as the oxygen of economic life of people. Bottom half of people,  particularly bottom  women, do not have access to this oxygen. That is why their economic life remains extremely weak. This oxygen remains for  exclusive used of  the privileged. He was speaking as a keynote speaker at the three-day National Women’s Parliament(NWP), being organised by Andhra Pradesh (AP) Legislative Assembly, India with the theme of ‘Empowering Women — Strengthening Democracy’, which began on Friday in the state capital of Amaravati.

Yunus Inaugurates Ujjivan Small Finance Bank in India, Delivers Keynote Speech at Indian Institute of Science

Press Release (08 February, 2017)

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus inaugurates the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank in India, one of the ten Microfinance banks licensed by the central bank of india for the first time,  in Bengaluru, India on February 6, 2017. PC: Yunus Centre

Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus was the  Chief Guest at the grand launch of  Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (Ujjivan SFB) in Bengaluru, India on February 6, 2017. This new bank, which launched its five initial branches, aims to reach out to the larger unserved and underserved populace and provide them with easy-to-use and access banking services. Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, one of the leading microfinance companies in India, began its journey in 2005 with support from Grameen Trust. Ujjivan has the largest pan-India presence of any microfinance company with through 469 branches with 44% year-on-year jump in gross loan book to Rs 6,588 crore at the end of December, last year. It has 3.6 million active small borrowers in 24 states. Ujjivan SFB is one of the first ten Microfinance banks licensed by the central bank of India. Professor Yunus had long been advocating for banking licences to MFIs in India which have established good record of performance. Central Bank of India has recently created a new category of bank following his suggestions. Ujjivan is one of the first MFIs which received the license.

Rejoinder to the Statement made by Honorable Prime Minister against Professor Muhammad Yunus on the Floor with of the Parliament

Press Release (28 January, 2017)

Honorable Prime Minister during a speech in Parliament made a number of incorrect and untrue statements about Professor Muhammad Yunus on the floor of the parliament on 25 January, 2017.

Many of these accusations have been made before and Yunus Centre has responded every time. Most of these allegations were made over and over again since 2011. They have been thoroughly responded to on each occasion. All national newspapers printed these responses devoting exclusive full pages in August, 2012. Please see more at https://goo.gl/v6brng. We are sorry that we have to repeat our responses once again. We are again laying out the facts against every accusation made by Honorable Prime Minister.

Honorable Prime Minister claims: Yunus has lots of money but does not pay tax. He sues taxmen not to pay tax. He does not pay taxes on the huge amount he keeps in fixed deposits. We don't know the sources of his income. Where does all the big money come from?

Our Response:  The allegation of avoiding paying taxes is completely false. Professor Yunus always pays his taxes in full and without fail. He pays substantial amounts in taxes every year. Honorable Prime Minister has given false information to the nation from the floor of the Parliament. Professor Yunus never tried to avoid due taxes by making excuses. His tax files have been investigated repeatedly in order to find fault with them but every time it has come out clean.  According to newspaper reports all banks in the country were asked last month to give his and his wife's financial dealings with them. Nothing new came out of these bank reports either.

Rejoinder to Honorable Prime Minister's Allegation against Professor Muhammad Yunus regarding Rampal Coal Plant Issue at World Economic Forum

Several local newspapers and other media outlets have carried comments allegedly made by Honorable Prime Minister on 21 January 2017 about the issue of Rampal Coal Plant being raised at the World Economic Forum. According to the media reports, Honorable Prime Minister said, “Yunus and company are responsible for bringing the Rampal issue to World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos by spending money." Several papers report that she has alleged that questions raised by former US Vice President Al Gore during a panel on the environment in which Hon Prime Minister also participated, were instigated by Professor Yunus.

We are deeply shocked and saddened by these alleged statements by Honorable Prime Minister especially implicating that someone of  Mr Gore's stature, a former Vice President of the United States, could be "bought" to make such comments.

The claim that Professor Yunus paid money to WEF to make this a topic of discussion is equally false and outrageous. Such a claim and allegation should be supported with concrete evidence when it is coming from a high office such as that of the Honorable PM against a distinguished citizen of Bangladesh, a distinguished citizen of another country, and a reputed global institution like WEF.

We strongly protest these false and baseless allegations against Professor Yunus.

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