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Nobel Peace Prize-winning economist accused of tax evasion in Bangladesh

March 25, 2015, 11:17 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
Muhammad Yunus has been summoned by the country’s authorities for allegedly failing to pay over $1.5 million in tax
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Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus

Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus

© AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

NEW DELHI, March 25. /TASS/. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus has been summoned by the country’s authorities for allegedly failing to pay over $1.5 million in tax, India’s NDTV channel reported on Wednesday.

The National Board of Revenue said instead of paying the tax from the revenues, the 74-year-old Yunus had given this money as gifts to his family members, according to the report.

A lawyer for Yunus insists that under the national law, if money is given to family members for maintenance, then this amount should get tax exemption.

"This is nothing unusual. He is an honoured taxpayer and we want to resolve the dispute over the unpaid tax through discussion that is why we invited him for talks," a National Board of Revenue (NBR) official was quoted by the NDTV as saying.

The Bangladeshi economist is known for pioneering the concept of microcredit and microfinance and founding his Grameen Bank, becoming its director general in 1983.

In 2006, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below".

In 2011, Bangladesh’s central bank ordered that Yunus should be removed as the Grameen Bank managing director as his appointment was not approved by it. The banker has repeatedly criticized the government’s economic policy.

The Grameen Bank issued micro loans to farmers under small interest rates and without collateral or guarantors but on condition of starting business or expanding business. Although many Bangladeshi experts first criticized the idea, the default on loans did not exceed 3%

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