Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has ordered Nobel laureate and microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus to pay more than $1 million in taxes on $7 million in donations to three charitable trusts, lawyers said.
Yunus, 83, is credited with lifting millions out of poverty through his pioneering micro-credit bank, but he fell out with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who said he “drinks the blood” of the poor.
He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his work promoting economic development.
“The Supreme Court… rejected our plea,” Younes’ lawyer Sardar Jinnat Ali told AFP.
Upholding the lower court’s decision as the law does not support tax exemptions for donations to trusts, the court ruled on Sunday that Yunus must pay.
Between 2011 and 2014, Yunus donated 767 million taka ($7 million) to the Professor Muhammad Yunus Trust, the Yunus Family Trust, and the Yunus Center.
The court ordered him to pay a total tax bill of 150 million taka ($1.4 million), of which 30 million taka has already been paid.
Yunus is credited with helping eradicate extreme poverty in Bangladesh by offering microfinance loans to millions of rural women through the Grameen Bank he founded in the 1980s.
Bangladesh’s anti-corruption watchdog last year ordered wide-ranging probes into firms chaired by Yunus, and Hasina has personally attacked him, blaming him for the World Bank’s withdrawal from a bridge project mired in corruption allegations.
When the bridge near Dhaka was inaugurated in June last year, Hasina said Yunus should be “drowned in the river” for jeopardizing its completion.
In March, 40 global figures, including former UN chief Ban Ki-moon and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, published a joint letter calling on Bangladesh to end the “unjust” attacks and harassment of Yunus.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Featured video of the day
“In Manipur, they alienate people with their inaction”: Shashi Tharoor