Voice of America’s Bangla Service organized a special round table tele conference on the achievements of Professor Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen projects in reducing the poverty in Bangladesh .
The discussants were Dr Atiur Rahman , Professor of Development Studies in Dhaka University and Dr Selim Jahan , Director , Poverty Alleviation in the UNDP . Both Dr Rahman and Dr Jahan focused on the tremendous achievements which Dr Yunus’s micro credit has made not only in reducing poverty to some extent but more importantly also in the empowerment of women. They mentioned that his programs will help meet some of the goals of Millennium Development.
The discussants rebutted the often common criticisms that the micro credit takes a very high interest and its methods for the realizations are tough. The discussants said that Dr Yunus did not want to get any subsidy for providing these loans and hence the interest rates have been almost at par with the market interest rate. They also said that to avoid defaulting in loans , some strict measures are necessary . Debates relating to methods and management should not dilute the main issue that Grameen Bank has done tremendous benefit to Bangladesh.