Bangladesh Cabinet approves draft law to empower central bank to closely watch Grameen Bank

Bangladesh is placing Grameen Bank, which pioneered small loans for the poor, under closer scrutiny by the country's central bank.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday approved the draft of a law to regulate the bank and bring it under closer monitoring by Bangladesh Bank.

The law must also be approved by parliament.

Grameen Bank has been a focus of contention in recent years after the government removed its founder Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus as managing director, saying he had breached retirement age rules.

Yunus has repeatedly accused the government of trying to destroy the bank, but authorities deny the allegations.

Cabinet Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan says the changes would replace a 1983 ordinance under which the bank was founded.