Nobelist Muhammad Yunus, the pioneer of microfinance, stresses on the need to hold clean elections saying this will lay the foundation of good governance and help fight corruption. In an interview to PTI, he spoke on a range of issues including ways to minimise government corruption, his idea of capitalism, his baby Grameen Bank and his new book "A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions". "People's power and the power of technology can change things dramatically if we apply them to make governments truly responsible to people and expose their corruption. Most important beginning of this process lies in holding a clean election," he says. "Most often elections are manipulated by money, muscle power, control of media by big money and powerful people in the government, and spread of fake news. If we can organise a clean and peaceful election, that will lay the foundation of good governance. If the election is done in a wrong way, everything will go wrong from then on," Yunus told PTI. Yunus finds two serious basic flaws in capitalism which led it to wrong direction. "These led the system to wealth concentration and degradation of global climate. Because of these two basic flaws, capitalism has become a massive sucking machine which sucks up wealth from the bottom to send this to the top," he argues. This has created an ever-expanding mushroom of wealth at the top under the ownership of a handful of people, the stem that hangs from the mushroom is becoming thinner and thinner, which represents the wealth of 99.5 per cent of world population, he says, adding, this makes capitalism a mockery of economics, democracy and basic human rights. Yunus and his Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006 "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below". Besides being the founder of Grameen Bank and the father of microcredit, Yunus is also the creator of social business, which has had huge impact on the grass-roots economy across the Indian subcontinent and in emerging economies across the world. In his book "A World of Three Zeros", published by Hachette India, he sets out a vision for a new economic system that tackles these three problems together. "I have been speaking at various conferences around the world about issues like wealth concentration, social business, microcredit, entrepreneurship etc. In these speeches, each one appears as an isolated issue. I realised that I need to put them together to show the inter-relationship among them.
This led me to the idea of writing this book," he says. Yunus has many social business funds named after him. "My name is used in naming social business funds to make it clear what kind of fund it is. Sometimes, people are confused when a fund is simply called social business fund. To make it clear that this fund is related to the concept of social business defined and promoted by me. That way investors and potential applicants know exactly what to expect from the fund," he says. Asked what would be his advice to them, he says, "Stay firmly with the mission and create examples of social businesses around them which will make it clear the objectives and operational practices of social businesses. When we create real life examples they become very powerful tools in convincing people about the need and efficiency of social businesses." According to Yunus, globalisation, corporate sector and dominance of profit-making enterprises do not threaten the spread of social businesses and to the contrary, these are the very reasons for the spread of social businesses. On the theme of his book 'zero poverty, zero unemployment and zero net carbon emissions', he says, "Government policy should be to zero-in on these three zeros in all their activities. I identify four mega powers to achieve these three zeros - youth, technology, social business, and good governance. Government can give policy support to unleash these four mega powers.
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