Finance minister AMA Muhith said on Thursday that the presidential race won by Republican candidate Donald Trump in the US election in 2016 brought a ‘relief’ for him from the ordeal he was facing from the US State Department over professor Muhammad Yunus.
‘I was relieved of the burden of giving answers to the State Department’ about Yunus since the last US election, said Muhith while talking to reporters at a function on payment of Tk 6.24 as dividends by Grameen Bank at secretariat.
Yunus who won the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Grameen Bank he founded, faced a series of hostile moves since the current ruling party, led by prime minister Sheikh Hasina, assumed the power in 2009.
He was ousted from the post of Grameen Bank managing director in 2011-12 despite the protests from Western countries, including the US.
Sympathetic towards Yunus, the US government, led by Democrats, was demanding for a reinstatement of the Nobel laureate in the Grameen Bank.
Muhith said he used to reply that Yunus had no relation with Grameen Bank although Yunus was linked with 30 or 40 institutions he established in the home and abroad from the bank’s fund.
But with the defeat of Democrats in 2016 election, the US State Department had not raised such question anymore to him, he said.
Muhith, however, said the country was still facing undue treatment by the US following the scrapping of duty-free entry of certain Bangladeshi products to the US market since 2013.
The country is eligible to enjoy the duty-free benefit of developed countries including the EU, he said.
He lamented that apart from Bangladesh, Russia was the only other country to face such to treatment from the US.